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American student arrested for filming a teacher in racial abuse

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Attorney Mary Walton said the school was suspended for three days

A high school in the United States is under fire after a student suspended her teacher for using racial slurs in class.

15-year-old Mary Walton filmed her teacher endlessly repeating the n-word on May 9 at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri.

Since then, her family has hired a lawyer and asked the school to apologize.

School officials said they believed the student was disciplined appropriately. The teacher who used slander quit.

As well as apologizing, the young student and her mother, Kate Welborn, have also asked the school to lift the suspension of her academic record, her lawyer, Natalie Hull, told the BBC.

The lawyer argued that the comment sends the wrong message to the students.

“If you see a video of a teacher doing something wrong, you might as well be in trouble,” said Ms Hull.

At the time of the incident, the attorney said, students were discussing racial slurs.

Ms. Hull said the anonymous teacher stepped in and used the word repeatedly.

Walton was caught on video saying the insult, as the students told him to stop.

“I don’t invite anyone a [slur], “the teacher can be heard saying” I can say the word. ”

Ms Hull said the student shared the video with her mother and a friend, after which it was shared widely on social media without her knowledge.

Ms. Hull said the school suspended Ms. Walton on May 12 for three days — the maximum for her offense under the school’s guidelines.

In a statement shared with the BBC, headteacher Josh Groves denounced the teacher’s actions and said he was no longer employed at Glendale High School.

Mr Groves added that the school was confident it had acted appropriately in response to the incident.

“Disciplining students is confidential, under federal law, and Springfield Public Schools cannot release details about the actions taken,” he said. However, the student guide is clear about the consequences of improper use of electronic devices. »

Walton’s mum told the BBC she would like the school to change its policy and educate staff and pupils on how to respond if a similar incident involving the teacher occurs again.

“The policy has either been misapplied or revealed a problem with the policy and there is no obligation to report,” she said.

The president of the Radio and Television News Association defended Walton’s actions, writing in a letter to school officials that he had “serious concerns” about his suspension.

“She should be praised, not punished,” Dan Shelley wrote in the letter. and according to the Washington Post, adding that although the student was not a journalist, she captured “a clearly newsworthy event” as reporters do.

His mother said that Walton was going through hard times after the accident.

“She just wants things to get back to normal so she can finish the school year,” Welborn said.

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