Emily Walters, a diligent and passionate student, found herself in a very delicate situation after recording her teacher saying something terribly wrong during a class discussion. She was aware that school rules prohibit the use of cell phones inside the classroom, especially during a discussion, but Emily just couldn’t bear listening to her teacher’s unacceptable remarks any longer. She decided to do something about it, so she picked up her phone and filmed him, not knowing how much impact it would make on her life.
Emily Walters is a 14-year-old freshman student at a high school in Missouri. Growing up, her parents have always given her a clear sense of what’s right and wrong, and they have always told her to respect each person, regardless of their social status and individual preferences. So when Emily witnessed her math teacher say something totally unacceptable in class, she disobeyed school rules just to get evidence of it.
It was a normal day in school, and Emily was listening intently to her math teacher, Mr. Thompson, as it was her favorite subject, and he was her favorite teacher. She had always looked up to him because Emily thought that he was the type of person who always knew what he was saying. He always appeared intelligent and composed, and Emily admired that about him. But all that admiration was replaced with disgust when he said something in class that made everyone frown.
Out of nowhere, Mr. Thompson brought up an unexpected topic for discussion. Emily and her classmates were all shocked, but they didn’t want to intervene while the teacher was saying something, so they all listened and waited to speak their minds. But not one of them expected what he would say next.
The entire class frowned and fell silent as Mr. Thompson was speaking. It was evident that none of them were happy about where the discussion was going. One student just couldn’t hold it anymore, so he cut him off and said, “Don’t say it right now as a teacher if you want to keep your job.” But the student’s words meant nothing to Mr. Thompson. He was too proud to admit his mistake, so he simply went on with the discussion.
Emily was conflicted for a moment because she couldn’t believe what she was hearing from her favorite teacher. Emily knows that he should be held accountable for his words, but she doesn’t want to put him in a tight spot either. It was a tough decision to make, but fueled by a strong sense of justice, Emily eventually decided to record the incident on her phone to expose Mr. Thompson’s unbecoming behavior.
Not being able to read the room, the bold math teacher repeated his remarks several times more, earning raised eyebrows each time. Another student even said, “Please stop. This isn’t part of our lecture and completely unnecessary.” But Mr. Thompson dismissed it once more and said, “Why can’t I say it? I can say the word.” The proud teacher did not welcome any of his students’ comments because he thought of himself as the only authority in the room, and therefore they should listen to him. Little did he know, Emily captured it all on camera, and soon, not only will his students be the only people to hear those words from him, but the entire world.
While she was recording her teacher, Emily suddenly remembered that school rules forbid the use of cell phones and other electronic devices during class hours, especially inside the classroom. She could get in trouble simply by taking out her phone. Emily was about to turn off the video when Mr. Thompson made another remark that surprised her even more. This made her more determined than ever to expose the shameful teacher.
After minutes of rambling and a lot of raised eyebrows from his students, Mr. Thompson looked around and finally noticed that Emily was holding up her phone camera in his direction. He felt his heart race, realizing that Emily was able to record everything he just said
“Are you recording me? Stop that and put your phone away!” Emily was not about to let this teacher scare and rattle her. She refused to stop recording even when he demanded and asked her to report to his office after the class.
When the teacher realized that Emily wasn’t going to stop filming, he dropped the discussion and went back to their lesson. But after everything he just said, Emily couldn’t let him get away with it. She was determined to expose him.
Emily knew that reporting her teacher using the video she took could backfire on her, but that was a thought for later. She had to act quickly now because her teacher might ask her to delete the video, and she had to be one step ahead of him.
So, Emily did the only logical thing she could think of at the moment. She sent a copy of the video to her best friend, Lindsay. But in her hurry, she forgot one important thing. Emily guessed correctly right after the bell rang. Mr. Thompson asked to see her in his office. He wasted no time in asking Emily to delete the video, telling her that if she didn’t, he would be forced to send her to the headmaster’s office for bringing out her phone during class hours, and the minimum penalty she would get was a three-day suspension.
On the other hand, if she obeyed him, he would let it pass, and they would pretend like they never had this meeting. Before she could even respond, Emily’s phone started vibrating uncontrollably. Luckily for her, she always keeps her phone on silent mode, so her teacher couldn’t hear any of it. But she still had no idea why she was getting so many notifications, and she couldn’t check her phone at the moment.
“What could be happening?” Then it hit her. If what she’s thinking is right, she may be in big trouble. After some thinking, Emily faced her teacher and said, “Sorry, but I can’t delete the video.” Then she stood up and left the room, rendering her teacher speechless.
Emily knew she would be called to the headmaster’s office soon because she refused to delete the video. But right now, she was more worried about all the messages she was getting, and she couldn’t wait to find out.
What she didn’t know was how bad the situation already was. As soon as she was out of her math teacher’s office, she took out her phone once more and began reading through her notifications. Emily couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The video she took of her teacher has been shared online and has now gone viral within their community, with hundreds of shares and comments.
But how did this happen? She didn’t share the video with anyone except Lindsay. Apparently, Lindsay was not pleased by the teacher’s remarks and thought it fit to share the video online after Emily sent it to her without context. She was in such a hurry to send the video that she forgot how much it could affect Lindsay. But there’s no way to undo that now. Even Emily herself knew there was no escaping the consequences of taking that video now.
Lindsay thinks that even if Emily broke school rules by taking the video, the circumstances were unique, and Emily did the right thing. And apparently, most of the people who shared the video online seem to think the same way. In fact, they think Emily should be praised for being bold enough to disobey school rules and stand up to her teacher.
But what did she really capture in the video? What was so bad about her teacher’s remarks? When she reached home, Emily’s phone still wouldn’t
stop pinging with notification alerts. She was just desperate to escape the commotion, so she slept away the rest of the day.
She woke up the next day to her mom loudly knocking on her door. Then she broke the news to Emily, sounding more concerned than agitated. “What did you do, Emily? The headmaster just called to inform me of your one-week suspension.”
Emily saw it coming, but she still couldn’t believe that the school took her teacher’s side, especially since the video had now gone viral, and probably half the school, if not all of it, had already seen it. She told her mom all about what happened and showed her the video. Emily’s mom was furious, as she also believed that her daughter did nothing wrong, and she was determined to fight back.
Despite Emily’s objection, her mom quickly called their family lawyer and brought up the case. Fortunately, she also specializes in civil rights cases, so the situation fits perfectly. Her mom explained the incident, presented the video evidence, and expressed her desire to file a lawsuit against Emily’s teacher and the school district if Emily was determined to make her teacher pay.
Her mom was set on making the school regret suspending Emily as well. The lawyer reviewed the evidence and confirmed that Emily had a strong case, especially since she captured it all on video. She explained the legal process and the potential outcomes, making sure Emily and her mom were prepared for the journey ahead. Emily’s mom agreed and said she was determined to pursue the case no matter what.
Everything was ready and good to go. There was just one problem: Emily. The problem was, while her mom agreed to pursue the case, Emily was having second thoughts. She took the video not knowing it would go this far. She never would have wanted to file a case against her favorite teacher, much less her school. Now she has to think of a way to stop her mom from filing the case on her behalf before the situation escalates further.
But was it the right thing to do? Emily tried talking her mom out of filing the lawsuit, but it was too late. The case had already been filed as soon as her mom gave the lawyer a go-signal. The video had also been circulating online for quite a few days, and irreversible damage had already been done. Each day, more and more people are coming out to condemn the teacher for his remarks and the school for their inappropriate actions towards the incident.
What was in the video, and why was it offending a lot of people? Emily watched the video on her phone again. No matter how hard she tries to deny it from herself, she knows deep down that her math teacher deserves all the hate he was getting, and maybe even the incoming lawsuit, for the things he said. A lot of her classmates tried to call him out during the discussion, but he remained adamant and showed no remorse while calling black people the n-word.
Some of her classmates were black, but her teacher did not even consider them while he was blurting out the n-word left and right, over and over, and it wasn’t even relevant to their discussion. Moreover, he refused to stop saying the derogatory word even when everybody in the class was already uncomfortable. To top it all off, he tried to have Emily delete the video and went as far as threatening her with a suspension just to keep himself from getting exposed.
All of this clearly shows that he was not sorry for what he did, and he should be held accountable. Lindsay apologized to Emily for uploading the video online without asking for her permission first as the owner, but that was the only thing she was sorry for. Not that Emily’s teacher was getting bashed heavily for it and that the school’s name was getting dragged along with him. After all, he did disrespect the black community and called them names, and the school did nothing to rectify the situation.
Emily accepted Lindsay’s apology and conceded that it was actually her fault it got this far. She was in such a hurry to put away her phone that she completely forgot the fact that Lindsay was black before she sent her the video. Emily also failed to warn Lindsay not to share the video with anyone yet until she figured out what to do with it.
Lindsay admitted she felt extremely offended by the racial slurs she heard Mr. Thompson say and thought it fit to share it online. There was no way she could have predicted it would go viral. Emily spent the entire day thinking about how much her life had changed in just a span of days since she took that video. She has always looked at people without color and respected every person because this is how she was raised, and everything her teacher said goes against what she believed in.
Emily was sad that she had to go through a legal battle with her favorite teacher and the school, but she realized that if she wants this incident to serve as a lesson, supporting the lawsuit was the best way to go. The lawsuit was officially filed, accusing Mr. Thompson of discrimination, harassment, and creating a hostile learning environment. The school district was also named as a defendant for failing to address the issue appropriately.
Following the subpoena, both Mr. Thompson and the school reached out to Emily and her family separately to try and get them to withdraw the charges filed. But Emily had already made up her mind. Unless they agreed to her terms, in no time, news of the lawsuit spread throughout the community. This sparked discussions about the importance of creating safe and inclusive learning environments for all students.
As the case gained attention, supporters rallied around Emily, praising her bravery for speaking out against the inappropriate behavior she witnessed and condemning the school for siding with the teacher. The school launched an internal investigation into the incident, aiming to address the matter, but they wouldn’t admit to their culpability.
School officials said they believed Emily was disciplined appropriately according to the student handbook, as it was clearly stated there that inappropriate use of electronic devices during class would yield adverse consequences to the student responsible. But given the circumstances, could Emily really be considered guilty of this? Because of the widespread social media reception, the school principal, Mr. Clayton, was pressured into releasing a statement regarding the matter.
In a personal Facebook post, he denounced Mr. Thompson’s actions and confirmed that he has been indefinitely suspended following the video leak. However, this news made Emily and her supporters more furious than happy. The school principal’s statement inevitably made him a new target for online hate. He was condemned for only suspending the teacher when many believed that he should have been terminated immediately.
At the same time, netizens cried foul over the unfair punishment given to Emily when all she did was expose a wrongdoing committed by a person in authority. In response to the school’s statement saying they were confident about the steps they had taken in response to the incident, which included Emily’s suspension, Emily’s attorney gave a statement.
Emily’s attorney argued that her suspension sends the wrong message to students. She released a video with Emily beside her, saying, “Apparently, if you take a video of a teacher doing something wrong, then you yourself could also get in trouble.” In contrast to the negative attention the school and its officials were getting online, support was pouring in for Emily and her camp. But this time, not only on social media.
Many groups were organizing protests in front of Emily’s school, calling for the reversal of her suspension and the immediate termination of the teacher involved. It had gotten so bad that the school was forced to cancel classes for two days due to the rallies being held on school grounds. The protests garnered more attention from local news outlets, and Emily’s case was becoming a national talking point.
All of this was overwhelming for Emily, who just wanted things to return to normal. She was missing her friends at school, especially her favorite teacher, Mr. Thompson, whom she used to admire so much. Emily decided to reach out to him and ask if there was a way to resolve this issue without it going to court. Mr. Thompson was surprisingly open to the idea. He admitted that he had made a terrible mistake and said he was willing to apologize publicly for his actions.
As for the school, they saw the mounting pressure from the community and the negative publicity they were receiving. They decided to hold a meeting with Emily and her family to discuss a potential resolution. Emily’s attorney advised her to attend, hoping that an agreement could be reached without going to court. Emily reluctantly agreed, hoping that this meeting would finally put an end to the turmoil surrounding her.
The meeting took place in the school’s conference room, with Emily, her family, Mr. Thompson, the school principal, Mr. Clayton, and several school board members present. It was a tense atmosphere, but Emily was determined to find a solution that would benefit everyone involved.
Emily started the meeting by expressing how hurt and disappointed she was by Mr. Thompson’s words and actions. She explained that she had taken the video not out of malice but because she believed it was important to expose inappropriate behavior, especially from someone in a position of authority. She also emphasized the importance of a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students.
Mr. Thompson, visibly remorseful, apologized sincerely for his behavior and admitted that he had let his students down. He acknowledged the pain he had caused and expressed his willingness to undergo diversity and sensitivity training to ensure that such an incident would never happen again.
Mr. Clayton, the school principal, acknowledged that the school had mishandled the situation by suspending Emily without fully investigating the matter. He apologized to Emily and her family for the distress this had caused and pledged to review and revise the school’s policies regarding electronic devices and student discipline.
The school board members, who had initially been hesitant to admit any wrongdoing, were also moved by the discussion. They agreed to work on improving the school’s policies and procedures to ensure that students’ rights were protected.
After a lengthy and emotional discussion, all parties reached a resolution. Mr. Thompson would publicly apologize to Emily and her classmates for his offensive remarks during a school assembly. He would also undergo diversity and sensitivity training, as agreed. The school would revoke Emily’s suspension and review and revise its policies to ensure fair and appropriate handling of similar incidents in the future.
Emily’s family and attorney were satisfied with the outcome, as it addressed their concerns and emphasized the importance of a safe and inclusive school environment. Emily herself felt a sense of closure and hoped that this experience would ultimately lead to positive change within her school.
In the end, while it was a challenging and emotionally charged journey, Emily’s decision to stand up for what she believed in had a significant impact. It sparked discussions about racism, discrimination, and the importance of accountability in educational settings, ultimately leading to positive changes within her school and community. Emily learned that even in the face of adversity, speaking out against injustice could make a difference and create a more inclusive and respectful environment for all.