MILLER PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Some Long Island parents are calling for a high school teacher to step down after using what they say is a racist photo of his students in a slideshow, but other students came out to support the teacher at a meeting Thursday night.

Tensions flared at a Longwood School Board meeting in Suffolk County one day after the parents of four Black high school students filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the district, reports CBS2’s Ali Bauman.

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“This day was going come whether it was this year or next year,” said one speaker at the meeting.

The parents allege a science teacher created a slideshow for the class that included a picture of a gorilla with an image of the four teens at a Bronx Zoo field trip. A caption on the photo reads “Monkey see, Monkey do.”

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“It felt like I was going back to the ’60s or the ’70s,” said Butch Murray. “That picture was degrading and not right.”

The four students said they were humiliated when they saw themselves, and when they later posted a video of the slideshow to social media, the teens claim they were threatened by administrators to take it down.

“He just blatantly called our kids monkeys, less than human, and that’s disgraceful,” said Murray. “He should not be in that classroom.”

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The science teacher was not at this school board meeting but he and school officials say they hope to meet with the four students and their
parents.