Teacher apologizes for calling student 'b-word'
NEW CASTLE, Del. - March 5, 2012 (WPVI) -- There is a controversy swirling around a math teacher at a Delaware charter school.
It's all about the way he talked to a student, the word he used to describe her, and the fact that it was all caught on tape.
A student at Pencader Charter School in New Castle recorded two videos.
The first video, of math teacher Bob Lewis calling a student the 'b-word,' was ordered to be erased by the school administrators, but Action News obtained a copy of the second.
In the exclusive video, Lewis can be seen defending himself for calling the freshman student the 'b-word' moments earlier.
"If Mrs. Lewis or Mrs. Frazier come to me and say 'did I call her a b-----? I'll say yeah. I said she acts like spoiled b---- and she does," Lewis said on the video.
Tiffany Gibson, the mother of India Gibson to whom Lewis' slur was directed, is appalled by his language and says her daughter was only asking for math help when Lewis exploded into a rage.
"That's abuse. You don't curse at a child because you are having a bad day. You got into the educational profession to teach and instruct," Tiffany said.
Lewis sat down with Action News and apologized for his language.
"I am not a bad person. I am not a monster and I am not even close to it," Bob Lewis said to Action News.
But in the video, Lewis appears unapologetic in front of the class.
"I don't care. Makes no difference to me. I don't back down and I don't make excuses for my actions," Lewis said on the video.
Action News asked Lewis about those unapologetic words he said in the video.
He replied, "You want to know what it is? It's frustration, anger, trying to get through to this kid."
Lewis says he doesn't want this one moment in a 41-year career in education to stain his reputation.
India Gibson and other students say he has used inappropriate language in the past.
It is a charge, though, he denies.
Even more troubling for some, the student who shot the video, Joey St. Pierre, has been suspended 10 days for what the district calls unlawful use of an electronic device and posting the initial exchange on YouTube.
Mr. Lewis says he didn't give his consent to be recorded, but St. Pierre's mother claims her son did nothing wrong.
"[Mr. Lewis] needs to take a step back and be a better role model," Linda St. Pierre said.
The chair of the board for the charter school says the board will meet tomorrow evening at 5:00 p.m. to determine Lewis' fate. He is currently suspended without pay.
delaware, new castle county, teachers, local/state, chad pradelli
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