MARION, Ill. (WTVO) — Community members in Marion, Illinois are protesting against a high school track teacher who allegedly made a racist remark in front of a Black student-athlete.

According to WSIL, the Marion High School track coach Sara Baker is on administrative leave following an incident involving a 15-year-old girl. Dozens of protesters were at the school on Monday demanding ‘Take her job’ along with other chants.

Protesters say the track coach referred to the student as a ‘barefoot African from a third world country.’ Although Marion Mayor Mike Absher said he’s heard a few different versions of the story but called it an ‘extraordinarily insensitive comment at best.’

“If you come to this school and do something wrong, you should no longer teach here. There are consequences to actions. We were all taught that in this same school system,” Marion High alum Akeem Petty told WSIL.

School administrators are investigating the incident. The school sent out a statement ahead of Monday’s protest.

“We want to inform you that we are aware of the issue, the coach apologized to the student and her parent during a recent meeting, and the district is currently working with the family towards a collaborative resolution. Additionally, the school district and the city of Marion were informed by a local organizer that there will be a peaceful assembly related to this topic.”

Marion Unit 2 School District