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'Go Back To Where You Speak Spanish': Teacher Let Go After Berating Boy

A substitute teacher in North Carolina is facing accusations of racism after he was caught on video berating a high school student for speaking Spanish in the classroom.

“Go back to where you speak Spanish if you don’t want to speak English,” said Gary Atta, as he stood over a student in a South Mecklenburg High classroom on Monday. Other students gasped. “I’m racist, right?”

“Yes, you are,” the student replied.

Another student caught the encounter on video and shared the recording with WSOC-TV. The student, who did not want to be identified, told the television station she was alarmed by what she heard.

“I was like, ‘It’s not right. This is racism,’ ” she said.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District said it will no longer use Atta as a substitute. It had employed him as a substitute teacher since January 2015. He could not be reached for comment.

South Mecklenburg principal Maureen Furr said in a message to parents that officials are reviewing “the entire incident.”

“At South we seek to create a safe and respectful environment for students and staff, and promote respectful interaction for all,” Furr said.

Mecklenburg South High, like the rest of the district, has a diverse student population. Last school year, about 31 percent of the high school’s students were Hispanic, 26 percent were black and 36 percent were white, according to a district report.

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