Dr. Lori Myles speaks out about using the N-word in class

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Usually students are the ones written up at school, but in Dr. Lori Myles' case, it's the other way around.

"Would you do anything differently? If it was told to me before that I cannot question my students on a higher depth of knowledge, then yes. If they would've told me to stay lower, then maybe I would have," Myles said.

Myles, unafraid and unapologetic, calls her 20 years of teaching at T. W. Josey High School sometimes unconventional.

One of her former students agrees.

"I'm pretty sure she didn't have any ill intent on it. Maybe some just took it the wrong way and maybe felt offended by it," said Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson.

"One thing about history, one thing about life, and teachers have always made the difference and have decided whether we break the paradigm," she said.

Myles says "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" is required reading by the Richmond County Board of Education. The book has the N-word in it more than 200 times.

She says you can't teach it without talking about it.

"We speak the word quite naturally because it's in the book and we're reading it out loud. When the word was used in 1860, was it right then? When it was used in civil rights was it right? No. If it's used in 2013, it's still wrong," she said.

But the doctor doesn't deny producing fliers with the images of civil rights icons and the N-word. She was reprimanded by Superintendent Frank G. Roberson of the Richmond County School Board.

Myles says it was all part of the lesson plan and but the moral of this lesson is much bigger.

"With that said, whether it's 2013 and some see no harm in their sight, it's still wrong and that word is still wrong," Myles said.

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