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BY Francis Akhalbey, 8:30am May 17, 2023,

Missouri student suspended for recording teacher using N-word in class

A Missouri high school student who recorded her teacher using the N-word in class was handed a 3-day suspension -- Image via CNN

The lawyer and mother of a Missouri high school student, who was handed a 3-three day suspension after she recorded her teacher using the N-word in class, are calling on the district to apologize and annul the punishment from the teen’s record, NBC News reported.

The teen’s lawyer, Natalie Hull, said the unidentified teacher repeatedly used the racial slur during a geometry class at Glendale High School on May 9, adding that the student ultimately decided to record what was happening.

In the video recorded by the student, Mary Walton, the teacher is heard using the N-word on two occasions. A student is also heard warning the teacher about using the racial slur and asking the teacher to stop.

“As a teacher, if you want to keep your job, this isn’t a threat …,” the student is heard telling the teacher.  “I’m not calling anyone a n—-r. I can say the word,” the teacher is heard saying. 

Responding to the incident in a statement on Tuesday, the Springfield Public Schools said the “teacher who was initially placed on administrative leave following the situation at Glendale High School is no longer employed by Springfield Public Schools.” “We received a resignation from that teacher,” the statement added.

Walton was reportedly suspended after officials determined she violated a policy that bars students from recording faculty staff without their approval. “It is absolutely impressive that the 15-year-old girl knew something was happening and stood up in the face of it and said: ‘I’m going to document this. I’m going to stand up for what’s right, no matter what. And I am going to make sure that this is brought to light,’” Hull said.

The lawyer also said the 15-year-old was “trying to provide indisputable documentation of the monumental wrong she was witnessing in class”, adding that the student “does not understand why she got punished, because she did the right thing.”

Hull said Walton is worried about the hostility she could possibly face when she goes back to school after the suspension, NBC News reported. “She’s worried about how she’s going to be treated. And she’s worried about how this is going to affect her moving forward in her educational endeavors,” she said.

In a statement, school district spokesperson Stephen Hall explained why the student was suspended for her actions. “Much speculation has occurred regarding student discipline related to a video recording of the unacceptable classroom incident,” said Hall. “Student discipline is confidential, per federal law, and Springfield Public Schools cannot disclose specifics related to actions taken.

“The student handbook is clear, however, on consequences for inappropriate use of electronic devices,” Hall added. “Any consequences applied per the scope and sequence would also consider if minors are identifiable in the recording and what, if any, hardships are endured by other students due to a violation of privacy with the dissemination of the video in question.”

Hall also said the school district is satisfied with its response to the incident. “We want our schools to be safe and welcoming learning environments. When students have concerns, they should follow the appropriate steps for reporting.”

But Walton’s mother, Kate Welborn, said it was morally correct for her daughter to film the incident. “What any parent wants is to know that they have raised a child that has a good moral compass,” Welborn said. “My daughter demonstrated that, and I am incredibly proud of her, and so is her father and her extended family.”

Last Edited by:Editor Updated: June 11, 2023


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