Pender Co. Schools releases findings in investigation of use of racial slurs

An investigation reveals a teacher used racial slurs in front of students

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County Schools released the findings of an independent investigation Wednesday into the use of racial slurs by employees.

The investigation by Blue LLP determined that Karen McGowen, a Pender County High School teacher, violated the school system’s standards of professional conduct and board policy when she used the “N-word” twice in the presence of students.

McGowen reportedly used the “N-word” when addressing a student while telling the student to stop using the same word to describe other students.

McGowen was issued a letter of reprimand.

Blue LLP did determine that the administration’s investigation into the complaint against McGowen was not compliant with board policy because no one interviewed the complainant.

The investigation also found two other employees did not violate the same standard or board policy in other incidents.

According to the investigation findings, Principal Caroline Godwin wrote the “N-word” in the margin of notes she was taking in October 2018 while investigating a fight on campus.

The investigation states that Godwin wrote the word because a student she was speaking with referred to his friends who had been attacked by using the “N-word.”

It also was determined that Rayford Hankins, who posted Godwin’s notes on social media, didn’t violate board policy.

WARNING: The documents below contain racial slurs.

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