A month-old incident involving a teacher at Boles Junior High School and a 13-year-old student has drawn concern from a Fort Worth minister and the civil-rights organization he heads.The unidentified teacher was disciplined by the district after she poured pencil shavings into the student’s mouth, according to the school district.The student, identified in news reports as Marquis Jay, a black eighth-grader, said the teacher poured pencil shavings from a sharpener into his mouth during class after he had tipped his head back and opened his mouth.He said he spit out the shavings and went to the nurse’s office where he washed out his mouth.“This kind of treatment of black boys in schools must come to an end,” said Kyev Tatum of Fort Worth, president of the Texas Southern Christian Leadership Conference. “To allow this teacher to continue in the classroom is criminal.”The group will request a meeting with school officials next week, Tatum said, along with representatives of the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens.“We see this incident as a continuation of a pattern,” Tatum said over the weekend. “We’re not the incident police. We’re trying to work with the district on the entire issue of outcomes for these children. You have to look at how it plays out in a larger scheme.”Jay’s mother, Deidre Brown, was quoted in news reports as saying that she didn’t feel that suspension was enough discipline for the teacher, whose actions she characterized as not befitting any adult.The teacher apologized upon her return to class, the student said.Tatum said the teacher should be fired and charged with criminal endangerment of a child.The student “could have been harmed or even killed,” Tatum said.District spokeswoman Amy Casas said in a statement that the incident was “immediately and fully investigated” and that the district took appropriate disciplinary action.“The school has been in constant communication with the student’s mother about this incident and other matters,” the statement said. “At no time has mom expressed any concerns about the manner in which this situation was handled to the school or the district.”School officials had not heard further from the student’s mother, Casas said Thursday.Tatum said he had not spoken with the mother, either.
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657 Twitter: @shirljinkins