Apology issued after Roncalli High School principal uses racial slur at all-school assembly

Roncalli Principal Chuck Weisenbach

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Roncalli High School principal issued an apology Friday for using a racial slur during an all-school assembly.

In an audio message obtained by CBS4, Principal Chuck Weisenbach told parents, faculty and staff that he made a significant mistake that he deeply regrets. Listen to it here:

Weisenbach said he was discussing the importance of empathy with students when he provided examples of words that should never be tolerated, including the N-word.

“Among the list of words and phrases was the N-word. I, in no way, used the word in derogatory fashion, but instead to illustrate its ugliness,” said Weisenbach.

Weisenbach said he sincerely apologizes for the offense or hurt that even hearing the word may have caused.

“As educators, we are often tasked with discussing uncomfortable matters, especially as it related to race and discrimination,” said Weisenbach.

CBS4 attended Roncalli’s football game Friday night and while many parents expressed their concerns with Weisenbach’s word choice, they would not give us an official comment. However, supporters did.

“I mean you have to say the word to get it. If you abbreviate or whatever. I mean say the word. Say the word. We’re not walking on eggshells here,” said former Roncalli teacher and coach, Jerre McManama Jr.

President of the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, Pastor David Greene Sr. says this issue needs to be discussed at a higher level.

“And I’m shocked and appalled that we’re seeing people in key leadership roles acting and speaking this way. Given where we’re trying to go as a city. We’re becoming more diverse and statistics reveal that. And something needs to be done,” said Greene.

This incident comes after one of the school’s guidance counselors was placed on leave because it came to light that she is married to another woman.

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