Upper Darby teacher resigns after racist tirade; school board votes to accept it
The board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Drexel Hill Middle School teacher Renee Greeley during a special meeting Tuesday.
The Upper Darby teacher captured on video this month calling a black parent the N-word has resigned from the district.
During a special meeting Tuesday night, the school board voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Drexel Hill Middle School teacher Renee Greeley, effective Oct. 17.
No board members spoke, but one parent addressed them before the vote. “My son was in Ms. Greeley’s class. He said he feels safer now,” Kyra Raphaelidis said.
The district suspended Greeley without pay after parent Rasheed Noel posted a video to Facebook on Oct. 10 of a heated exchange with her after a minor car accident in the school’s parking lot. The video soon went viral.
In the video, Greeley, who is white, tells Noel he is “probably on welfare." She sarcastically agrees when Noel responds that she made the remark because “I’m young and I’m black.” Afterward, Greeley tells Noel to go back to his “Section 8 house.”
She later calls him the N-word.
District officials quickly condemned Greeley’s comments. Last Tuesday, Upper Darby Superintendent Daniel McGarry recommended Greeley’s termination, calling the incident “unfortunate and disheartening.”
“Our diversity is beautiful, and it is a source of pride. It is our strength and should unify us, not divide us," McGarry said in a statement. The Upper Darby School District enrolls 12,500 students. Nearly half are black; one quarter are white; 15% are Asian; and the rest are Hispanic or multiracial.
McGarry said last week that Greeley could choose to resign, pursue arbitration, or request a hearing before the school board.
The president of the district’s teachers’ union, Melanie Masciantonio, declined to comment Tuesday. “This is a personnel matter that I am not at liberty to discuss," Masciantonio said.
Greeley began working for the district in 2008 and has taught computer tech and other subjects.
After the board’s vote Tuesday, Raphaelides, the parent, said that her son, a sixth grader, had Greeley as a computer teacher this year and liked her.
She talked to her son, who is black and was shocked by the incident, about “how you can’t divide the world into good and bad” and how people can behave in complicated ways.
“We need to examine everyone, including ourselves,” she said.