Missouri high school student suspended 3 days after filming a teacher using racial slurs in class

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A Missouri high school sophomore was suspended three days after she filmed her teacher last week using a racist slur in class, prompting the teen’s attorney and mother to demand that the district apologize and remove suspension of your registration.

The incident occurred on May 9 in a geometry class at Glendale High School in Springfield, when the student’s teacher used the slur more than once, and the student decided to take her cell phone and record it, according to the teen’s attorney. , Natalie Hull.

The student, Mary Walton, videotaped the teacher, who has not been publicly identified by the school district, using the n-word twice in a video that lasts about a minute.

In one part of that video, another student objects to the teacher’s use of the word, and he responds, “I’m not going to call anyone an n—-r. I can say the word.

Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri.google maps

The teacher is no longer employed by the school system, according to Springfield Public Schools. The student was suspended, Hull said, under a policy that prohibits students from filming teachers unless they get prior consent.

“It’s absolutely stunning that the 15-year-old knew something was up and she stood up and said, I’m going to document this. I will stand up for what is right, come what may. And I’ll make sure this gets out,» Hull said during an interview on Tuesday.

He added: “Mary was trying to provide indisputable documentation of the monumental error she was witnessing in class. Mary doesn’t understand why she was punished because she did the right thing.»

Hull said the teen is also concerned about the possible backlash she may receive upon returning to school after the suspension.

“She is worried about how she is going to be treated. And she is concerned about how this will affect her progress in her educational endeavors.”

Springfield Public Schools spokesman Stephen Hall said in a statement that the teacher is no longer employed by the school system. Hall also advocated punishment for students in similar circumstances.

“There has been much speculation about student discipline related to a video recording of the unacceptable incident in the classroom,” Hall said. «Student discipline is confidential, under federal law, and Springfield Public Schools cannot disclose details regarding actions taken.»

«However, the student handbook is clear about the consequences of inappropriate use of electronic devices,» the statement continues. «Any consequences applied based on scope and sequence would also consider whether minors are identifiable in the recording and what hardship, if any, other students endure due to a breach of privacy with the release of the video in question.»

Hall said Springfield Public Schools supports the district’s handling of the incident at Glendale High School.

«We want our schools to be safe and welcoming learning environments. When students have concerns, they should take the appropriate steps to report them.»

TO message on May 9 from Glendale High School Principal Josh Groves to the high school community noted that the comments expressed by the teacher in the video were “inappropriate, inexcusable, and do not meet professional standards for Springfield Public Schools employees.”

Per district policy in the student handbook titled “Inappropriate Use of Electronic Devices,” students are prohibited from recording teachers or students without prior approval. Punishments for first offenses in high school range from a parent-faculty conference, detention, and a maximum three-day suspension.

Walton’s mother, Kate Welborn, 44, said Tuesday that her daughter’s decision to film was morally correct.

“What any parent wants is to know that they have raised a child who has a good moral compass,” Welborn said. «My daughter proved it and I’m incredibly proud of her, as is her father and her extended family.»

Hull likened Walton’s actions to a whistleblower and said the district’s policy needs to be reevaluated because it is too restrictive.

“When he took the camera and started recording, … it was a news event. She was capturing it in case it needed to be shared.»

The school district, citing student confidentiality, declined to comment Tuesday on whether it will reevaluate its policy, remove the student’s suspension or apologize to her.


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