A long-time substitute teacher says that he has been banned from filling in at Parkway South High in Missouri after a student lodged a complaint when he complimented other students who stood and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
“At the end of the pledge, I said: 'Thanks to all of you that participated in that. I'm sure that all of those families who lost loved ones so that we could enjoy the freedoms we have today would appreciate the effort,'" Jim Furkin told members of the Parkway School Board.
He explained that one of the students requested to go to the school's counselors office and filed a complaint saying that he was "hurt" by Furkin's comments. When Furkin was questioned by school officials, he apologized and said he had no intention of hurting the student's feelings.
But, the school district is telling a different story, saying that Furkin was not banned because of his comment.
"While we cannot share details of individual personnel matters, we would not recommend that a substitute teacher be restricted from a school simply based on a single isolated incident such as this. Several factors, including prior concerns at other schools, would be taken into consideration before making a recommendation," the school district said in the statement.
The district issued a second statement and explained that Furkin was also banned from another school after he was caught "recording video of students without their permission" and "violated appropriate teacher-to-student interactions by sharing his personal contact information with students."
"Based on previous concerns from staff and students, the principal of South High addressed these matters with the substitute teacher. The substitute was coached and reminded of his professional obligations."