The Education Department is investigating an employee who was allegedly caught on tape repeatedly using the word "nigger" during a PTA meeting in Queens on May 27th. Ron Barfield, who makes $50K working as a "family district advocate" to assist parents, was recorded during the organizational meeting saying, "Keep the niggers out. All them niggers are going to be voting and getting y’all to debate and dividing up the board."
Barfield, who is black, also urged the committee to schedule executive board meetings on Fridays to discourage parental involvement: "Do it Fridays, cause niggers don’t like to come out on Fridays... That’s the truth, cause I ain’t coming out to nothing." Felicia Galy, former vice president of the PA, tells the Queens Tribune, "I actually was shocked when he said it. He is a black man in a high position. I was just shocked." (The Queens Tribune has the audio recording.)
DOE spokesman Matthew Mittenthal says, "Hurtful, offensive language has no place in our schools. We are referring these allegations to the Special Commissioner of Investigation." The incident could land Barfield on probation, transferred, demoted, or terminated. "I'm surprised," Alicia Hyndman, president of the parent council in District 29, tells the Daily News. "I've never heard him use those words. He's always been respectful. If he is using those words, [the Education Department] should do whatever's necessary to remove him, as long as the tape is authenticated."