In the month since a racially-charged class project went viral at the Sylvan Hills Freshman Campus in Sherwood, a teacher remains on administrative leave and a parent has pulled his son from the district, opting for homeschool.
That dad, whom we are choosing not to identify to protect his 16-year-old son, says the district could have handled the situation better.
He says his son was part of a group that turned in an entrepreneurship class project titled the ‘N -Word Pass,’ which he says the teacher approved.
“Well, I thought to myself, I don’t know if that’s the best topic,” the dad says.
His son and two other students were suspended for one day, according to him and the Pulaski County Special School District.
When his son got back to the school, PCSSD says the teen was caught trying to sell the project passes on campus.
The dad disputes that claim.
The student was suspended for another 10 days.
“It put him so far behind that he’s not going to catch up,” the dad says.
PCSSD says, while the students were suspended, the teen was asked to “complete assignments via Google Classroom but failed to do so…”
The dad says by then, the project had left a stain on his son’s overall experience at the school.
“He had the academics to worry about, and he had the environment to worry about also,” the dad says.
He has since pulled his son from the campus and started homeschooling.
The dad admits the project wasn’t a good idea and tells us he didn’t know about it until it was turned in, but he wishes the lesson his son learned had been taught in a different way.
The dad also believes a fourth student was involved in the project but escaped punishment. PCSSD says all three students involved were disciplined.
PCSSD sent us this statement addressing some of the parent’s complaints:
“The student in question was one of 3 students involved and was suspended for one day. When he returned from his suspension, he was found in the gym selling the passes and was issued a second suspension. The student was advised to keep up and complete his assignments via Google Classroom but failed to do so. When he returned to school, he was behind on his classwork. After the suspension, the student returned to school for one day (March 28) and withdrew from school on April 2.”