Harrisonville teacher accused of using racial slur requests public school board hearing

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A Harrisonville high school teacher accused of using racist language in the classroom will appear at a public hearing Tuesday.

A high school student reported to administration that the teacher used the n-word, according to a public social media post made May 10 by Jennifer Beavers, who is the parent of a student and a district employee.

The post said John Magoffin, listed in the school directory as a science teacher, had “made a hostile environment out of a classroom.”

Harrisonville school district spokeswoman Jill Filer confirmed last month that a high school staff member was placed on administrative leave April 20 for allegedly violating school board policy.

When a complaint is made, administrators conduct an investigation and if action is needed, the superintendent makes a recommendation or presents a statement of charges. Tenured teachers can resign or request a public hearing.

The hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Harrisonville High School.

Filer said Monday that the teacher had requested a public hearing. Each side is expected to present their cases and may call witnesses. The board of education acts similarly to a jury with the board president acting as the judge. The board goes into a closed session to make a decision.

Magoffin’s attorney Jean Lamfers did not return a call requesting comment. In a previous statement, Lamfers said allegations that Magoffin “made a racially discriminatory comment directed at anyone” were untrue and denied that Magoffin used the racial epithet in question.

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