Bertie County Middle School student speaks out after argument with teacher surfaces online

BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – A middle schooler in the east is speaking out after an audio recording of an argument between her and a Bertie County teacher made the rounds on social media. In the recording, the teacher can be heard calling the student stupid and ignorant.

Tense moments unfolded at Bertie Middle School on Thursday when 13-year-old Shanaja Scott and her teacher got into an argument.

Scott claims the argument began because she had her headphones on during class, and when the teacher was telling students to be quiet, Scott said she didn’t hear her.

When Scott’s recording nears its end, the teacher can be heard talking about the student’s size.

“You can get your big tail up and get out,” the teacher said.

“She was trying to make a big scene when she was calling me big. I don’t like how she said that in front of the whole class. People were recording and it’s all posted on social media and stuff,” Scott said.

In the recording, Scott can be heard saying, “Okay, well you didn’t have to call me a girl because I’ve got a name, I’m not your slavery.”

The teacher responds, “You are a girl—you so stupid you don’t even know what a slave name is.”

The teacher can also be heard saying, “When you get a master’s degree you can talk to me.”

WITN reached out to the Bertie County School superintendent Dr. Otis Smallwood about this, and he sent the following statement:

“The district is aware of the situation that occurred at Bertie Middle School and we are investigating it thoroughly. In keeping with one of our core values, “Keeping The Main Thing The Main Thing”, we are committed to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of our students and staff and ensuring conducive learning environments for all.”

Meanwhile, Scott’s mother, Latoya Brimley, hopes school leaders take action.

“Kids bring guns and stuff to school to try to retaliate and kids every day commit suicide because of this,” Brimley said. “This is why I reached out to someone to try to get help for my daughter in this situation.”

Brimley says she’s hoping to meet with the school district and seek therapy for her daughter on Monday.