I am in a dilemma . . . About a month ago, in a fit of anger and frustration brought on by a very long and draining year (whole 'nother story), while talking to myself outloud, which I do often, I said a very inappropriate word about one of my classes. It was the "n" word. A group of my students went to the principal and reported it, and very quickly, it has gotten around school. It has also gotten to some parents, and apparently the school board. I have formally apologised to the students that it was directed at, and I am prepared to do any other formal apology that is required. I will even accept any punishment that comes my way, because I realize that I was in the wrong, and will accept my consequences. At this point, being that almost a month has passed, and the school year is about to end, I don't see any punishment coming my way. The statement is uncharacteristic of me, and I am not racist in any way. Well, now one of the students in this aforementioned class is failing the course with a 65. She failed her exam. She failed 1st semester with a 58. She does very little work, doesn't study, and doesn't read any of the plays (this is a theatre arts class). Her mother called me today concerned about the child's grade, and basically said I am failing her daughter because I am a racist. Although if you look at my top students in my two AP classes, the majority of them are black, so I don't think the racism card works here. I explained the grades in detail to the mother, and I hope she realizes that her daughter earned what she earned, and it is not a reflection of her color. So, I'm hoping the matter's dropped. Any thoughts?