School officials are apologizing after a group of sixth-graders in Texas chose a derogatory nickname for their class. Classrooms were allowed to pick nicknames as part of a team-building exercise at Bell Manor Elementary School in Bedford, and one class wanted to be called the "Jighaboos," a name that was then posted on a sign in the classroom. What the teacher didn't realize, until a parent reported the nickname to school administrators, is that the word is a derogatory term for a black person, the Star-Telegram reports.
"The teacher took [the sign] down. She was mortified, and she cried," a spokesperson for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district says. An angry father who saw the sign took a picture of it and notes to Fox 4 that it read, "Mrs. ____'s Jighaboos are at school today to achieve our 6th grade goals and prepare for 7th grade." "She makes them recite that out loud," he says. "You put Dream Team and then you have the Jighaboos. Really? Really with that?" Both the teacher and the principal have apologized, as well as district officials. A new process is in place in which administrators will vet nicknames before they're posted. (This teacher got in hot water for some questionable language on a math quiz.)