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A tenured science teacher in Missouri has been fired after he allegedly referred to MLK Day as “Black Privilege Day” during his classes.
John Magoffin reportedly used racial slurs to express his disdain for Martin Luther King Jr. and the national holiday celebrating his legacy. The Harrisonville School Board fired Magoffin on Wednesday following an investigation into his remarks, which occurred in three different classes: AP biology, physics and advisory, as reported by MSN.
Students reported that Magoffin used a racial slur during a conversation about rap culture. He also called Martin Luther King Jr. Day “Black Privilege Day,” and told students he had never seen racism in the U.S., per the report. One student told the principal she was not allowed to remove her face mask for a break because she is Black.
On Thursday, the school board issued a statement announcing Magoffin’s termination.
“The board concluded that Mr. Magoffin’s use of inappropriate language violated the rules and regulations of the district and was unacceptable conduct for a tenured teacher in the district,” the statement read. “We commend the students and parents in bringing forth their concerns to the administration so that this matter could be appropriately addressed.”
“We also commend our teachers and employees who uphold the high standards of our profession and work diligently each day on behalf of all students,” it continued. “We will continue to move forward in our mission to provide a safe and successful learning environment for all District students and staff at the Harrisonville Cass R-IX School District.”
According to the report, Magoffin, who had been with the district since 2012, was placed on paid leave in April. He requested a hearing amid conversations about firing him over the allegations.
“The characterization that my client is some kind of a racist person and that this is a racial slur that he directed at anybody is an absolutely false narrative,” the teacher’s lawyer, Jean Lamfers, told KCTV ahead of the board’s vote.
“I think that he was being singled out by the administration because he had been vocal about some other issues that the higher-ups didn’t like,” Lamfer told KMBC.
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