Substitute teacher tells students Martin Luther King killed himself

U.S. & World

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina substitute teacher has submitted her resignation after a student told his father that the teacher told his class that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was not assassinated but instead killed himself.

Billy Byrd also says his son told him the unidentified substitute music teacher told the class of minority students they were headed to prison because of their clothing, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Tuesday. He said the teacher told the students they weren’t real Christians if they didn’t support President Donald Trump.

King was shot and killed as he stood on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel on April 4, 1968.

Wake County schools spokeswoman Lisa Luten says the teacher told the district Sunday she no longer wanted to be listed as a substitute teacher.

Byrd didn’t immediately respond to a request for additional comment on Tuesday from The Associated Press. He told the newspaper he is proud of his 10-year-old son for standing up to the teacher’s statements. He also said he was disappointed in the teacher’s comments about his son’s clothes.

“For her to assassinate his character because of what he was wearing is sickening,” Byrd said.

Byrd told the newspaper he is hopeful the incident will lead to changes in hiring practices that improve the quality of substitute teachers who are picked.

“I can no longer let people like this slide by and go to other schools teaching students other misinformation,” he said.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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