Harrisonville teacher on leave; parent claims it’s because of racial slur incident

Education

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — For the second time in a week, a local school district is investigating reports of a teacher or coach allegedly using a racial slur around a student.

An investigation is underway in Harrisonville where the district confirmed a high school teacher is on leave.

The incident happened last month, before a situation at Olathe North involving a racial slur, but only became public when a parent and school district employee said she was motivated by the words of Olathe parent Tony Banks not to sit idly by.

The Harrisonville parent and school district employee expressed frustration in a Facebook post that a teacher allegedly used the N-word twice in the classroom, and the matter wasn’t being handled more quickly, or at least with transparency.

That parent wrote, “While I understand that matters must be investigated and that may take some time, I also am incredulous that no one has made a public statement to the students at the HS, the parents, the community that something so clearly racist and wrong was said.”

“Every kid should feel welcome. Not in any way shape or form should they feel different than any other kid, any race, class, anything like that,” parent Lindsey Morgan said.

Harrisonville Schools released a statement Wednesday that said, in part:

“We cannot provide specific information on the investigation due to confidentiality and the fact that it is an ongoing investigation. We take all reports of misconduct or wrongdoing seriously and our first steps are always to ensure the safety and well-being of our students.”

Late Wednesday night, attorney Jean Lamfers released a statement on behalf of Harrisonville High School teacher John Magoffin. It said he “respects and honors the integrity of all students in the district.”

“Any allegations that he made a racially discriminatory comment directed at anyone is patently false and potentially defamatory,” the statement went on to say.

In Olathe, now former baseball coach Pete Flood admits to using the N-word in front of his team. He was fired quickly Monday. But Flood has since said he was only quoting song lyrics a player was listening to.

“When I heard both sides of the story and the situation kind of came out, it kind of changed my perspective on it. So I think you just have to wait and hear from both sides and get the real story about what happened before you come to an opinion,” said Alli Schnelle, a Harrisonville parent.

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