Killeen ISD teacher assigned racist word search to middle schoolers

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Posted at 1:55 AM, Jan 20, 2023

Editor's note: The following story includes images with racial slurs and language some readers may find offensive. 25 News has decided to release these documents in full for greater transparency with our audience.

KILLEEN, Texas – Killeen ISD and one of its teachers have parted ways after the educator assigned middle schoolers worksheets loaded with racist slurs and language the district called "extremely disturbing."

Tiana Maya, a spokesperson for the district, told 25 News she's unsure if the teacher was fired or resigned, but both parties have "separated". Maya said the educator was recently hired and joined KISD on Aug. 15, 2022.

"Killeen ISD immediately launched an investigation upon learning of an appalling and extremely disturbing assignment distributed by a now-former Rancier Middle School teacher," Dr. John Craft, the district's superintendent, said in a letter on Thursday sent to parents. "There is no argument to condone such an offensive gesture, and we deeply regret the assignment was ever created and distributed to even a small group of students."

The assignment appears to have been created Jan. 11 and included word scrambles and searches rife with epithets titled, "Trigger Words Scramble."

The worksheets tasked students with guessing words based on included definitions, using the slurs in a sentence, and matching slurs with colors.

Among Rancier's population of 785 students, 90 percent identify as a minority with the majority of students classified as Black and Hispanic, according to data from the Texas Department of Education.

Also, 71 percent of middle schoolers there are at risk of dropping out, and the state classifies Rancier students as "economically disadvantaged."

Killeen ISD is the largest school district in Central Texas and the 24th largest district in Texas. Over 45,000 students attend 31 elementary schools, 11 middle schools, 5 high schools, as well as other campuses, according to its website.

Many KISD parents took to social media to express outrage and bewilderment over the assignment – and how it could happen in the first place.

"We regret that this incident occurred," Craft said. "We are committed to dealing with these type of situations expeditiously."