Parents claim teacher called son ethnic slur

SAN DIEGO - Parents contacted Team 10 after they say their son's science teacher called him an ethnic slur during class.

Shekeena and Rogelio Valle said their son's first grade teacher cursed at him during class in November at Encanto Elementary School.

"As Mr. Harness was speaking so close to his face, the spit hit my son's face and my son wiped the spit off," Shekeena Valle said.

She said the teacher then called their six-year-old "w**b***" several times. They say this happened while Mr. Harness was lining up the students in class.

The word is a derogatory term used typically to describe undocumented immigrants.

"I want justice to be served for what happened to Elisha Valle," his mother said, as she held back tears.

The parents are frustrated, and they say more than seven months after the incident, they still have not received proper answers.

The NAACP is now getting involved and wrote a letter directly to San Diego Unified School District Superintendent Cindy Marten.

"I was very hurt and I couldn't understand it," Rogelio Valle said.

Elisha is both Hispanic and African-American.

"I was just shocked. I was horrified. I couldn't believe it," Shekeena Valle said.

Elisha's mother complained to the school. She said she was ignored for months and even banned from the school for a week for speaking up.

The NAACP letter, written by the chapter's education committee chair, says "... decisive action should have been taken to resolve these matters."

Rogelio Valle said he has not heard anything from the teacher, the school or the district. His parents knew they would talk to their son about racism at some point, but not at the age of six.

Elisha's father said there is no possible way his son could have made the story up.

"We don't even practice that type of behavior in our home," he said.

The Valles say their son still has nightmares about what happened. They transferred him to a different school in the district.

The Valles say they are supposed to meet with the superintendent, but they just have no idea when.

The San Diego Unified School District issued the following response on June 12:

"Ms. Valle’s complaints have been forwarded to the district’s Quality Assurance Office. That office is still investigating the issue so no details or comments can be provided by the district."

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