The teacher who is in charge of kindergarten students at a South Carolina elementary school says she was misquoted by a parent during a recent visit to her home.
Kenny Pankhurst says she received a phone call from the mother, who told her the teacher was using the term ‘kindergartens’ and asked if the kindergartens are private or public.
Kindergartents are private schools that have a curriculum and are open to students of any age.
Pankharys daughter, a fourth grader, was in kindergarten when the call came in.
The teacher said she used the term kindergartent because her students don’t speak the same language as the children of the public schools she teaches.
She also said she would not use the word ‘k-town’ when referring to the public school system because it’s not in her community.
Pankhurst said she was in the process of teaching a group of kindergartners when she heard about the call.
“They asked, ‘What’s the difference between the kindergarten teachers and the private school teachers?’
And I said, ‘Kindergarts.
We don’t have schools,'” she said.
Pankshurst says the mother then told her that she shouldn’t use the term because it could be seen as a racial slur.
“She was really, really upset,” she said, adding that she was very confused and felt unsafe.
She was also surprised that a teacher of a public school would use the terms.
“That’s a word I don’t think that’s ever been used by a public teacher,” Pankridge said.
She said the mother was not reprimanded.
“I think the teacher who called me was very well-meaning and that’s how I feel about it,” Pankshurst said.
K-Town, Kindergartens and Other Words: Words that make sense in contextCNN’s Dana Brueck reports.