East Forsyth High School principal takes voluntary leave after controversial recording saying the N-word

John Thompson


(Forsyth County, GA) Forsyth County Superintendent of Education Jeff Bearden announced Wednesday that East Forsyth High Principal Jeff Cheney is taking a voluntary leave of absence in conjunction with an audio recording from September 9.

"On Friday, September 9, East Forsyth High School Principal Jeff Cheney and two staff members met with a white student concerning the student's continued use of offensive language. The goal of the meeting was for the student to understand that we must all be sensitive and respectful to others," the school district's statement read.

East Forsyth High School Principal Jeff Cheney(Photo/Forsyth County School District)

School officials said the student recorded the meeting without informing the three adults. The student then took a small portion of the recording and shared it with others.

"In the 38-second recording, Mr. Cheney says, 'Cracker is slang for white, and it's the antonym to (full N word), which is a very offensive comment," the statement said.

Officials said Cheney contacted the district office and met with the parents of the student to disclose this information, apologize, and commit to rectifying these mistakes in the future.

Dr. Jeff Bearden(Photo/Forsyth County School District)

In Bearden's response Wednesday, he said he granted the voluntary leave "to have time to reflect, process, and move forward."

Bearden was strong in his statement about the issue.

"Forsyth County Schools believes that at no time and in no context should any variation of the N-word be used. Students and adults make mistakes; our school district believes that we all can learn from our mistakes," wrote Bearden.

Bearden asked for continued "support of the East Forsyth leadership team, teachers, and staff during this time period."

If you have a news tip in Forsyth County, contact John Thompson at johntct@aol.com

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I've been writing articles around the metropolitan region for 30 years. My work has appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the NY Post, and other regional newspapers.

Senoia, GA

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