Harrisonville Board of Education fires teacher who used racial slur in class


HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — The Harrisonville School Board voted to fire a teacher who used a racial slur during his advanced placement biology class.

The board said John Magoffin was terminated because he violated the rules and regulations of the District when he used the N-word.

The vote was 4-3 in support of immediately terminating all of Magoffin’s contracts, with board members Cameron Chenoweth, Bing Schimmelpfenning, and Brittney Sexton voting against the idea.

The district previously said that three students confirmed Magoffin used the N-word in April. When first questioned about the incident Magoffin told administrators he didn’t recall using the full six-letter word and said it came up during a discussion about rap music during the biology class.

Magoffin requested a public hearing on the issue after learning the school district and superintendent asked the school board to terminate his contract. Last month he made his case in an hours-long meeting that more than 100 people attended.

During the hearing, a district attorney told the Harrisonville school board that students also recalled him saying he’d never support Black Lives Matter and racism doesn’t exist in America.

“This student was interviewed and said during physics class Mr. Magoffin had referred to MLK Day as Black privilege day,” said Duane Martin, an EdCounsel attorney for the school district.

After announcing Magoffin’s termination, the Harrisonville Board of Education released a statement and said “We commend the students and parents in bringing forth their concerns to the administration so that this matter could be appropriately addressed.”

Magoffin responded to his firing with a statement through his attorney. He said he plans to appeal the board’s decision.

“The board’s decision masks the administration’s mishandling of the entire matter from beginning to end at Mr. Magoffin’s expense. Allowing the administration to place him on leave without board approval, in the first instance on April 20, denied him equal protection of the law and violated due process. Allowing the administration to fail to take any action to investigate his credible complaints of threats made by the family of a district employee, who violated district confidentiality rules by posting false allegations and using inappropriate language directed at him, exacerbated the situation and violated his rights,” the statement said.

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