Missouri High School Student Serves Three-Day Suspension for Recording Teacher Saying N-Word
A geometry teacher at Springfield, Missouri’s Glendale High School was put on blast after a student posted a video of the teacher using a racial slur.
According to Riverfront Times, the school suspended high schooler Mary Walton from May 15 to 17 for recording the teacher.
The video revealed audio of the teacher asking why it’s acceptable for Black people to use the n-word but deemed offensive if other people say it. Walton claimed the teacher said the word several times during the conversation that had been going on for a while before she began recording. The video captured the teacher using the n-word twice as a student warned the instructor, and another gasped at the language. The teacher demanded Walton stop recording after he noticed her doing so.
KSHB reported that Walton only shared her video with her mother and one friend, but the video ended up circulating and eventually going viral, accumulating comments that Glendale Principal Josh Groves said were inappropriate and did not meet the Springfield district’s professional standards.
“Mary saw a teacher do something wrong, and she documented it,” Walton’s lawyer, Natalie Hull, said.
“Language can be harmful, and Mary captured proof of her teacher, a person who is supposed to protect children, harming them through his use of a racial slur. If he had been hitting a student — or worse — would the school have reacted the same? Frankly, this school is exercising a chilling effect on all of the students by sending the message that they will get in trouble if they capture evidence of their teachers doing something wrong,” Hull added.
The school claimed Walton violated the district’s electronic device policy, which resulted in the three-day suspension. Walton and her attorney are seeking an apology from the school and for the suspension to be lifted so the girl can return to class.
Currently, the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave, and the student has garnered major support on Twitter from people who believe she did the right thing.
Wait a minute, the student gets a 3 day suspension for recording, a 3 day suspension is what they give kids for fighting. So the same outcome can come from recording a video as it can for fighting? SMH
— Dean (@thedeans_list) May 16, 2023
A question is would the student be believed without the recording? Would anyone be talking about this teacher in a world where there was no recording?
— Nayomie (@itsnaoria) May 16, 2023
We all have an obligation to speak out when injustice occurs, particularly when people in power abuse our trust. I applaud Mary Walton for sharing that video. Her school should apologize. https://t.co/LW0oSYIUP1
— BethanyMannForCongress (@Mann4Congress) May 16, 2023