Amid a nationwide reckoning on systemic racism, sixth-grade English teacher Zakia Jarrett thought a lesson plan on the intersection of race, literature and poetry would be timely for her middle school students. But instead, the Milton teacher was punished.

“I thought it was an excellent lesson…I thought it was a wonderful way to incorporate current events with literature, with poetry,” Jarrett told Jim Braude on WGBH News’ Greater Boston Tuesday.

She was promptly put on paid administrative leave after district officials received a video clip of her remote learning session in which she discussed racial bias and told students, “many cops are racist.”

Jarrett recalled that she wasn’t even told why she was being punished in the first place.

“In the conversation with my principal...he said there is an allegation about a comment I had made. So first, I was flabbergasted. I couldn't think what it was that I could have said,” she explained. “I didn't know anything about the fact that my lesson was recorded until some hours after the initial phone call.”

Jarrett’s administrative leave was lifted later that night and she received apologies from Milton School Superintendent Mary Gormley and Pierce Middle School principal, William Fish. But she was not convinced that their acknowledgments were sincere.

“I think that they are probably sorry, but I'm not sure they're sorry for the things I wish they were sorry for doing,” she said. “There is an apology for the fact that my feelings were hurt, but I didn't feel like there was an apology for the fact that there was a rush to judgment, that I wasn't given an opportunity to even say what happened or have a discussion about it... I wasn't given the benefit of the doubt at all.”

In a statement to WGBH News, the Milton School Committee explained that their actions were wrong and that they are committed to “[improving] the district's efforts in promoting social justice through the entire system.”

When asked if she would join them in those efforts, Jarrett said yes.

“I am willing and interested in pushing the district to become anti-racist, actively anti-racist. So, I don't know exactly what steps the district is planning to take, but I know that things need to change. And I would like to be a part of making that happen,” she said.