Pennsylvania Teacher on Leave After Racist Tirade Recorded

A teacher at a middle school in Pennsylvania has been placed on leave without pay after a video of the educator engaging in a racist tirade went viral on social media.

The video was posted on October 10 by Facebook user Rasheed Noel. In his Facebook post Noel states he and the teacher at Drexel Hill Middle School in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, got into a car crash in the school’s parking lot. In the video, the teacher, who has been identified as Renee Greeley, can be seen rubbing the back bumper of red pickup truck following the crash. Noel says in the video that Greeley has finally stopped cursing and screaming at him.

"You're probably on welfare, too," Greeley can be heard saying in the video.

"Not even a little bit," Noel responds, "Six figures a year, ma'am."

Greeley, who is white, then begins to curse at Noel, to which the man responds that the teacher is angry with him “because I’m young and I’m black.”

"That's right, because you're black,” she fired back. "Always looking to milk the system. And you see me, a white woman, so you think I've got money."

When Noel responds to her, Greeley then replies that he should “go back to your welfare and your section 8 housing. You see the big truck I have? Look at the piece of [expletive] you’re driving.”

“I’ve got a 3,200 square-foot home," Noel responds.

The two launch into another tense verbal exchange before Greeley tells Noel, “Go [expletive] off, you [N-word].”

"I'm sorry?" he asks.

"You heard me," she says.

The video posted to Facebook has garnered over 1.9K reactions on the social media website and has over 310,000 views. The Upper Darby School District Superintendent, Daniel McGarry, wrote in a statement on Facebook on October 14 that Greeley has been placed on administrative leave without pay.

“There is a legal process we must follow, and the teacher does have due process rights. My recommendation to the Board is for termination. The teacher may elect to resign, go to arbitration, or request a formal hearing in front of the Board of School Directors. We are following the legal process. I want to make it clear that we do not condone or support the comments or actions of the teacher in question,” the statement read.

“I do not want this incident to define who we are. Instead, I would like for all of us to use this unfortunate incident as a teaching tool to authentically reflect on the harm caused by such hurtful words and actions,” the statement continued. “We should turn our attention on having productive conversations with one another, with our children, and with our neighbors about being inclusive and respectful of one another. We need to discuss what this really means and looks like.”

McGarry told USA Today that Greeley, who has been employed with the district since 2008, went on her racist rant while Noel’s third grader was seated in the car. The next official board meeting is in November, but McGarry said the board could call for a special meeting to discuss Greeley’s employment status. He told the publication that he does “not believe anyone who conducts themselves this way should be allowed to teach."

"Such commentary, such actions will not be tolerated in our community," McGarry stated. "Now, as a leader of this school district, I'm coming out against it, as hard as I can. We're not going to run from this."

"You can not conduct yourself this way, especially when you're working with our children and our community," he continued.

In September, a Hollywood costume designer was fired from her job after a video showing her going on a racist rant at a CVS in California went viral. Heather Lynn Patton, who is white, was screaming the “N-word” and threatened to kill Black people in the video, which was filmed at a CVS in Los Angeles.

Renée Saldaña, a witness, previously told Buzzfeed News that shoppers were inside the store when Patton went on her racist rant and they heard Patton repeatedly yelling the N-word. She and Adrene Ashford, a Black costume designer who was also shopping at the CVS at the time, began filming Patton’s outburst. Saldaña told the publication she reported the incident to the LAPD.

Patton issued an apology in an Instagram story, calling her behavior “inhumane and disgusting.’

“I hope the world knows we all as human beings have all made mistakes and greatfully [sic] regretted them later in life. I as a human made the choice to say some words that I should’ve NEVER let come out of my mouth,” she wrote. “I will no longer ask for forgiveness because what I did as a human was very inhumane and disgusting. African Americans help build this very country that I am living in and I hate that I insulted the millions of them.”

“I have lost my job which I totally would agree on as well for the reason I have been let go. Please allow me to rekindle the love we shall all share amongst each other,” she continued.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.