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Missouri Teacher Suspended After Shocking Video Catches Use of Racial Slur in Class, School Punishes Student for Recording

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May 16 2023, Published 8:00 p.m. ET

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A shocking video of a Missouri teacher using a racial slur in class led to the suspension of both the educator and student who captured the outrageous clip, has learned.

The video was recorded during class at Glendale High School in Springfield, Missouri. Kenneth Bowling was identified as the teacher seen in the recording.

In the video, the white teacher was seen debating his pupils on why it was considered acceptable for Black people to use the N-word, but was offensive when used by others.

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Glendale High School

Students seen in the now-viral video looked visibly uncomfortable as their teacher sparred with peers on the racial slur.

"How is it not still a derogatory word?" the teacher was heard asking, to which his students responded with the history of the term.

"Slave owners use to call [Black people] that, so it's just not right," one student could be heard saying.

In an unbelievable moment, the teacher quipped back in a snarky tone, "Right ... but is the word n----- not allowed to be said?"

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Students could be heard audibly gasping at the comment — and another student warned that the behavior could cost Bowling his job.

The student continued to tell his teacher that "right now, as a teacher, if you want to keep your job... this isn't a threat," before he was interrupted by the educator.

"But I'm not calling anyone a n-----," Bowling responded in a defensive tone. "I can say the word."

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Mary Walton, who recorded the clip, claimed that her teacher used the racial slur multiple times before she hit the record button. After her video brought backlash for the teacher, school and district, Walton was suspended for three days.

Walton expressed her desire to return to school — and to receive an apology for being punished over the video.

The student stated that she did not post the video to social media, instead she shared the video with her mother and a friend.

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According to Walton's lawyer, Natalie Hull, the school claimed that she violated their electronic device's policy, which was used as grounds for her suspension.

"Mary saw a teacher do something wrong, and she documented it," Hull said in a statement. "Language can be harmful, and Mary captured proof of her teacher, a person who is supposed to protect children, harming them through his use of a racial slur."

The attorney questioned if Glendale High School would impose the same punishment if the teacher was seen hitting a student.

"Frankly, this school is exercising a chilling effect on all of the students by sending the message that they will get in trouble if they capture evidence of their teachers doing something wrong," Hull added.



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