SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Glendale High School teacher has been placed on administrative leave after a student took a video of him using a racial slur in a classroom.

GHS Principal Josh Groves sent a message to parents informing them that the teacher had been placed on leave.

A Snapchat video taken by a student shows the teacher — who has not been officially identified — having a conversation with another student about using a racial slur.

Snapchat video has been edited by our staff.

“I don’t like the word,” the teacher said in the video. “At all. I don’t know. It feels like when a Black person is using it toward another Black person, it’s the same … How is it not still a derogatory word?”

A student gives an unintelligible answer drowned out by others in the video.

“Right, but, is the word [redacted] not allowed to …,” the teacher responds.

At this point, the student he is talking to interrupts him.

“OK, I’m going to say right now, as a teacher, if you want to keep your job — this isn’t a threat,” the student says.

“I’m not calling anyone a [redacted],” the teacher said. “I can say the word. It’s not … “

At this point in the video, the student recording lifts the camera to get a clear shot of the teacher. The teacher notices and tells the student to put their phone away and then tells them to go to the office when they refuse.

Here is the message the principal released after the incident yesterday:

Dear Glendale Staff & Families: 

We are aware of a Glendale teacher using offensive, derogatory language during class today. A video of the comments is being circulated and we have received several calls from concerned parents. I want you to know that the comments expressed in the video are inappropriate, inexcusable and do not meet the professional standards for Springfield Public Schools employees. 

SPS took immediate action once we were aware of this situation. An investigation is ongoing, and while it continues, the staff member will remain on administrative leave. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. 

While details of personnel matters must remain confidential, our response has followed the guidelines outlined by our Board policy and reflects the district’s zero-tolerance for this type of conduct. 

We strive to ensure that every individual is treated with respect, kindness and fairness, so that all feel safe, secure and welcomed at our school. 

Please reach out with any questions or concerns.


Dr. Josh Groves