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Parent says Everett 3rd graders shown 'completely inappropriate' video about race

An Everett mom said a teacher showed her child's class a video with explicit language and violence.

EVERETT, Wash. — Many parents, kids, and teachers are having conversations about race this school year. An Everett mom said her child's teacher took things too far, by showing third graders a video with explicit language and violence.

Cameron Hiett said her child, who attends Silver Firs Elementary, was doing a lesson at home on Tuesday when the teacher played a video for the kids.

“My ears perked up,” Hiett said. “I wanted to see what they were about to watch.”

The clip shown to the children was a music video called "I Can't Breathe," which depicts this summer's marches over racial injustice, as well as victims of police violence.

The video shows some brief shots of rioting, violent clashes during marches, and a sign with expletives.

Hiett said the teacher never gave her a heads-up that she was going to show the video to a class of eight-year-olds.

“There are videos you could play on that subject that wouldn't bother me at all,” she said. “I keep my kids in-the-know of what's going on in the news, but there are certain things they still don't need to see and hear at that age.”

A spokesperson for Everett Public Schools said the school's principal is aware of the situation.

"Because this has now become a personnel issue, and we don't comment on personnel issues, there wouldn't be anything for us to say on camera,” the district said to KING 5.

Hiett said her child won't be returning to that teacher's class.

“We're going to homeschool,” she said. “I'm not prepared for that, but I will be, it's what I feel is necessary.”

Hiett shared with KING 5 a message her child's teacher sent to families after some of them complained about the video. In the note, the teacher said she was sorry, and that she would do a better job of screening content, adding, “It won't happen again.”

Experts who study race say parents should start talking with kids about the topic early in their lives.

They recommend children’s books as a tool to spur conversations and say silence surrounding race can reinforce racism.

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