Cassandra Elizabeth Sutton was fired from her job as a paraprofessional at a Rochester, New York school on November 28 after she bragged on Facebook that she “caught a n***er” allegedly hiding in her neighbors backyard. She claimed she called police and used the n-word three times in her post.
Sutton worked at the K-12 Children’s School of Rochester School 15, but was immediately fired after the administration learned of the post.
Here’s what you need to know about Sutton.
1. Sutton Claimed She ‘Caught a N***er’ Committing a Crime in Her Neighbor’s Backyard
The 33-year-old Sutton’s post went viral on Facebook after it was shared by Ginger Price, who begged people to share it to show an example of racism.
In the post, Sutton attached at least three photos and included a long post. Sutton wrote:
Caught a n***er!! Ahem, I mean decent African american male, armed & hiding behind the shed in my neighbors back yard. Allegedly they we’re in hot pursuit, as he had been on foot, running yard to yard! Hmm I wonder why I don’t ever see white males committing crimes on my street! I caught (a few times) some hood rat n***ers breaking into my neighbors car.
Sutton also included several hashtags, which were also racist in nature. One was #BlackPeopleAreFineN***ersArentBIGDifference.”
2. As Soon as Officials Were Made Aware of the Post, Sutton Was Fired
“She was immediately terminated as soon as we saw the posting,” Piper said. “We pride ourselves on our diversity. They were very offensive and hurtful remarks.”
Brian Harding, the president of TES Staffing, confirmed that Sutton was removed from their roster of substitutes.
“At this point, I don’t think she can work for us anymore. Her comments certainly do not reflect our values,” Harding told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
“We believe it is important to make clear that racial intolerance cannot and will not be accepted in our schools,” RCSD school board President Van White and Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams said in a note to staff members on Monday.
3. Another Facebook Screenshot Appears to Show Her Use a Homophobic Slur
Another screenshot of a message allegedly posted by Sutton appears to show her using a homophobic slur. The above screennshot was posted by a Facebook user on the initial post by Price.
Another user posted a screenshot of the letter he received from Piper after he complained about Sutton’s social media behavior.
“The District informed TES that this person should not report today and will not be allowed to work in any District school in the future, effective immediately,” district officials told the New York Daily News. “Comments like the ones posted are unacceptable and will not be tolerated by anyone who works with District students.”
4. Sutton Worked as a Substitute Paraprofessional in Pre-Kindergarten
Before she was fired, Sutton was working with young children. This fall, she was at School No. 15 as a substitute prekindergarten paraprofessional. During the 2015-2016 school year, she was a substitute at Lincoln Park School 44, Piper told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.
A screenshot of her Facebook profile lists her duties as a paraprofessional as:
Help teach Pre-K students how to read, write, share, play, clean up, follow a schedule and eat together. Instill lifelong values to prepare them for Kindergarten, Primary School, Secondary school and beyond.
5. On November 17, a Teacher in Baltimore Was Fired for Using the N-Word
This is just the latest incident of a teacher making racist comments and getting fired after they were widely shared on social media. As CNN reports, a middle school teacher at Harlem Park Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore was filmed using the n-word when disciplining her mostly black class. The name of the teacher, who is white, was not released by officials.
The teacher warned that if they don’t focus on their classwork, they will “be like a punk ass n****r who’s going to get shot.”
The video was shared over 1 million times on Facebook in just 12 hours. The teacher was fired on November 17. She was in her second year and was hired through the Baltimore City Teaching Residency.
“In the current climate, we at city schools are very, very clear about where we stand with hate speech, any kind of obviously discriminatory language,” Baltimore schools CEO Sonja Santelises told the Baltimore Sun. “There are many people who struggle with classroom management, but they don’t resort to hate language. We can’t provide enough support to counteract what’s in someone’s heart.”