Wichita middle school students organize demonstration over teacher’s remarks

Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 9:57 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Students at Stucky Middle School skipped their first class of the day Friday as a form of protest after a teacher allegedly made comments to a student that others perceived as racist. Students spend their first hour at school in the cafeteria, voicing concerns and speaking out against racism.

Eyewitness news spoke with students who were in that classroom Thursday when the alleged racist comments happened and protested Friday.

Stucky student Jamiah Scott-Murphy said she is still in disbelief that one of her favorite teachers could say what she heard.

“[The teacher] has like a cotton plant on her cabinet and a kid asked if it as real. And she said, ‘no, it’s not real. I got it from Hobby Lobby, but I’m running out, so go in the field and pick me some more.”

Scott-Murphy isn’t the only one who heard that exchange.

“That don’t feel right, what [the teacher] said,” said Stucky student Keuntis Henderson. “I’ll never fell right (with) what she said. She said something no one could believe she would say.”

Scott-Murphy and Keuntis-Henderson said the teacher who made the remark is a favorite for students at their school, but after hearing what she said, they want accountability and change.

They’re not alone.

“I thought about it, and I took that, and I took what’s going on in today’s society and put it together. It’s an unfortunate situation that’s not fair to anybody,” Stucky student Rey’zhian Shears-Montgomery said.

Students say they should feel safe at school and be able to look up to their teachers.

“Some of the ids that see them as role models, they probably won’t see the as role models anymore,” said Stucky student A’Maree Bohannon.

Shears-Montgomery and Bohannon organized a boycott of their first-hour class Friday morning and gave speeches about the impact comments like what they heard from the teacher can have.

Students who participated in the walk out said it was much needed.

“What happened was never okay,” Stucky student Aaron Bohannon said. “And for people to actually understand how we felt and where we come from, it helped our voices be heard.

Wichita Public Schools (USD 259) said Stucky is investigating, and the teacher involved has apologized to students.

“We still accept her apology, but at the end of the day, that should never be said in a classroom, ever.” Scott-Murphy said.

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