FORT WASHINGTON — The Potomac Landing Elementary School media specialist who was caught on camera admitting to using a racial slur against a family in a parking lot is confirmed to be retiring.
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) Public Information Officer John White confirmed on Monday, Nov. 26 that Darlene Sale does plan to retire this week.
According to White, Sale, who has been a PGCPS employee since 2004, will be retiring on Nov. 30. Although she is going to retire, White could not confirm whether the school system will continue their investigation into the video where she was confronted in the parking lot as such personnel matters are confidential.
Sale sparked controversy on Nov. 12 after using a racial slur against a black family in a La Plata parking lot. Dawn Nichelle Lennon confronted Sale while recording the rest of the incident where she asked if the teacher had called her husband a racial slur and Sale admitted that she did use the racial slur against the family.
Lennon later posted the video on her Facebook page where it gained the attention of the surrounding community who called for PGCPS to immediately fire Sale.
“I’m upset that my kids had to experience this,” Lennon said afterward. “I was more upset that my kids had to experience that and see that type of display of racism, bigotry and hatred.
“She shouldn’t be teaching any children. People in PG County pay taxes, and I’m sure they don’t want to pay taxes for a teacher that is racist so she should not be teaching, instructing, guiding and being responsible for children that she hates.”
After the video was posted, many parents on social media agreed with Lennon asking for Sale’s removal from Potomac Landing and from the school system as a whole.
PGCPS Interim CEO Monica Goldson addressed the issue in a statement a few days after the video was posted.
“Needless to say, I am disappointed and deeply disturbed by this behavior from a PGCPS employee,” she said.
Although PGCPS did not condone the behavior from the teacher, the statement said that legal roadblocks prevented the school system from taking immediate action to fire the teacher.
Legally required to adhere to Sale’s right to due process and provide a hearing before any final verdict could be made, PGCPS initially assigned Sale to another position outside of the school until further action could be taken.
Goldson reiterated in her statement that such behavior is not tolerated in PGCPS, an overwhelmingly African American school system.
“Students of color comprise the overwhelming majority of our enrollment. We educate more students of color, send more students of color to college and employ more people of color than any other school system in Maryland. Diversity is the strength of Prince George’s County Public Schools.”