River Ridge Elementary is in the city of SeaTac but part of the Kent School District. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

River Ridge Elementary is in the city of SeaTac but part of the Kent School District. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kent elementary school teacher accused of using racist language toward student

River Ridge Elementary instructor placed on administrative leave by Kent School District.

The Kent School District placed a River Ridge Elementary School teacher on administrative leave after the teacher reportedly used racist language toward a female student.

Family and friends of the student held a protest rally Wednesday morning, May 11, to demand the firing of the teacher for using racist language, according to Facebook posts. They protested and held signs on a sidewalk outside the school, 22420 Military Road S. The school, which opened in the fall, is in the city of SeaTac, but is part of the Kent School District.

“I would like to inform you of a decision to place a teacher on administrative leave,” River Ridge Principal Kendra Pratchett said in a May 10 email to school staff and families. “At this time, we cannot name the staff member.”

Pratchett also wrote: “Situations such as these are never easy and all of us have various emotions about how to respond,” Pratchett said. “Let’s be the example and refrain from speculation to help stop the spread of rumors. It is important we remember to set an example for our students and children in our response.”

Relatives of the girl claim the teacher assumed the girl and her friend were fighting, which they were not, and say the teacher called the girl “ghetto” and “ratchet,” and told her to shut her mouth and respect her, according to Facebook postings.

A parent of another student at the school sent an email to the Kent Reporter about the protest.

“Many students (were) protesting and calling for the termination of a teacher who has several eyewitnesses who have seen her physically hit, yell and cuss at Black and brown students,” according to the parent’s email.

The parent wants a better learning environment for her child.

“We send our kids to school with the assumption they will be safe,” the parent said. “Not only do we need to worry about potential school shootings, we also can’t trust the quality of people the school district allows in our children’s lives.”

Pratchett, the principal, said in her email to staff and families that she will update them about the teacher.

“We will continue to keep staff and families informed as needed,” Pratchett said. “We are taking steps to ensure students and staff remain safe as we continue to provide an exceptional learning environment for our students.”

Faith Sisley, spokesperson for the Kent School District, declined to answer numerous questions from the Kent Reporter about why the teacher was placed on leave or potential next steps by the district.

“Since this is an ongoing process with the Kent School District administration, we cannot comment with any specific details or information,” Sisley said in a May 11 email. “It is important to respect the privacy of those involved as we make every effort to provide the best possible learning environment for our students and support our families and staff.”

Pratchett did not respond to a Kent Reporter email for further information about the incident.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Monkeypox virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
Public health officials confirm case of monkeypox in King County

Health officials say the positive case does not pose a significant risk to public health

Patti Cole-Tindall (Courtesy of King County)
Patti Cole-Tindall is officially confirmed as the new King County Sheriff

After serving as the interim sheriff since January, the King County Council… Continue reading

World War II veterans in Auburn, Wash. File photo
Washington ranks 7th among states for number of World War II veterans

12,364 WWII veterans are living in the state, with a total population of 517,912 military veterans.

Photo of promotional recruitment banner used by Auburn Police Department at Petpalooza. The banner features Auburn Police Officer Jeff Nelson, who is awaiting trial for the 2019 murder and assault of Jesse Sarey. Photo courtesy of Jeff Trimble
Auburn police use photo of embattled officer on recruitment banner

Families of people killed by Jeffrey Nelson, who’s awaiting trial for murder, speak out over use of his photo at Petpalooza.

T
Use your King County library card to explore the outdoors

KCLS cardholders can check out a Discover Pass for two weeks to explore public lands.

Monkeypox virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control.
King County identifies first presumptive monkeypox case

The illness is not as easily transmitted compared to COVID-19, according to health officer.

This screenshot from Auburn Police Department bodycam footage shows an officer about to fire his weapon and kill dog on May 13, 2022.
Auburn police shoot dog, and owner claims it wasn’t justified

See videos of attack as well as bodycam footage of officer firing at dog.

File photo.
King County Council approves creation of Cannabis Safety Taskforce amid rash of dispensary robberies

The multi-agency task force will cooperate to find ways to improve safety in the cash-only industry.

Most Read