A Mid-Michigan superintendent says a school employee is being falsely accused of sending a racist email to a Georgia reporter.
Superintendent Dr. Lisa A. Hagel at the Genesee Intermediate School District said she was made aware Wednesday, Dec. 6 of a racist email that was sent to a reporter in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hagel said the email was attributed via social media to a GISD employee. The school district immediately started an investigation.
"Through that investigation in which our employee thoroughly cooperated, it became clear that the email used to send these disparaging remarks to Ms. Reed in Atlanta is not owned by, or associated with, our employee," Hagel said.
The employee was identified by Hagel as Kathy Rae Szuch.
"Based on the information obtained during the investigation, it is evident to us that our employee, Ms. Kathy Rae Szuch, did not send this message, nor is this her email account," Hagel wrote. "Unfortunately, by having a similar name and a similar email account, individuals on social media connected the comments to our employee here in Flint, MI."
Hagel said the misidentification has been "terribly difficult" for Szuch. Hagel said the employee has been sent "hurtful messages via social media."
"We share the outrage associated with the comments made to Ms. Reed. We would never condone such comments, and especially would never stand behind someone who would make such comments and serve children as an educator," Hagel wrote.
The reporter, Sharon Reed, from our affiliates at CBS46 said she received an email from Kathyrae1962 that said:
"You need to be fired for the race baiting comment you made tonight…it's o.k. for blacks to discuss certain subjects but not whites…really??? you are what I call a N**** not a black person. you are a racist N****. you are what's wrong with the world."
Reed responded to the email during the station's 9 p.m. newscast.
"I would say to Kathy a couple of things. Number one, you mischaracterized what I said. I didn't say white people couldn't talk about race. Quite the contrary. We think that race is an authentic discussion to have. It's one we're having tonight because it's one many of you are talking about at home and it's one that has clearly entered the Atlanta mayor's race."
Reed went on to say:
"I won't mischaracterize your view either, Kathy Rae. I get it. On December 5, 2017, you think it's OK to call this journalist a nigger. I don't. But I could clap back and say a few things to you, but instead, I'll let your words, Kathy Rae, speak for themself."