DENVER - Denver Public School officials are investigating allegations that a math teacher at the Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences berated a seventh-grader by calling him a stupid "f***ing retard."
"Jake told me about a week ago that a teacher was using very nasty words against him in front of the other kids," said Roberto Feuereisen, the boy's dad. "I think that's bullying, and I cannot accept that from a teacher."
Feuereisen says he was so incensed by the allegations that he went to talk to the teacher and recorded the conversation on his cellphone.
In the recording, the teacher admits using two of the words, but not the f-word.
The teacher later claimed he used the words "stupid" and "retarded" to describe the situation, not Jake.
"One time I got mad and I kicked him out [of class]," the teacher says in the recording. "I said, 'This is stupid and retarded.'"
When asked if the teacher used the words to describe him or to describe his frustration with the situation, Jake told 7NEWS, "He used those words to describe me."
When asked why the teacher said that, Jake replied, "He was probably mad at me."
Jake admits that he sometimes "acts stupidly" in his math class and that he has been kicked out several times, but adds, "I don't think that would be an excuse to call me anything."
In the recorded conversation with the boy's father, the teacher claims it was the student who was bullying him. He said the boy is disrespectful.
Feuereisen said, "You have to be respectful, I agree with that." But the father added that bullying from the teacher is not the way to correct behavioral issues.
DPS Chief Communications Officer Michael Vaughn says the district is investigating the allegations.
"They're talking to the teacher and to other students," he said. "Obviously, that type of language has no place in our schools. If we determine that it happened, there will be serious consequences for the teacher."
"I don't want anybody to get fired," Feuereisen said.
When asked what he does want, the father replied, "I'm just trying to show the community what I don't want to happen again in any school."
Feuereisen said he's concerned about the long-term impact of the harsh words on his son.
"I don't know how we can fix it," the father said. "I hope they will do the right thing."