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Springfield Public Schools says teacher at center of viral video controversy no longer employed

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 11:27 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield School District reports a middle school teacher in the middle of a viral video controversy is no longer employed by the district.

The incident happened on the last day of school. A student at Pershing Middle School recorded the teacher handing out cupcakes, celebrating the upcoming LGBTQ month. The teacher then calls out a student, saying he was a ‘straight jerk’, ‘dipstick’, and a weasel. The student admitted he was being annoying in the video. You can watch the video above.

Springfield Public Schools leaders say they do not know what was said prior to the recording. They did hear about the incident 24 hours after, receiving a copy of the video from a parent. They say they immediately began investigating the incident, and made a hotline call to the Missouri Children’s Division. They say SPS wants to create a welcoming learning environment for all students, and the teacher clearly violated professional standards.

“We are all in agreement,” said Springfield Public Schools Public Information Officer Stephen Hall. “The comments that are reflected in the video are completely unacceptable. They’re inappropriate, and they’re inexcusable. So as a result, we did follow our policies and procedures. Our board policy outlines very specific steps for disciplinary investigation and action, and that was followed by the district.”

Missouri Senator Eric Burlison released a statement about the viral video on his Facebook page.

“In part, he says, “as she promoted her personal beliefs in the classroom, she lost her objectivity in a conversation with one of her students, who pushed back on these ideas. Crossing the line even further, she is said to have called a young man many demeaning and derogatory names.”

He invited Missourians to share their concerns and thoughts on public education.

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