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Speaking of dumb: How could educators make such foolhardy comments?

I have found educators are typically careful about what they say in the school setting, but two recent cases show a surprising lack of restraint and sense.

First is the Greene County High School teacher who called a student "the dumbest girl I have ever met."

An iPad recording also captures history teacher Cory Hunter telling junior Shaniaya Hunter (no relation),"You know what your purpose going to be? To have sex and have children, because you ain't gonna never be smart."

I'll be surprised if this Greene County teacher continues in the classroom given the national outcry over his comments.

The AJC reports it is not clear what the district has done or plans to do about the teacher, but the young woman's attorney wants him fired or the lawyer will file a motion with the Greene County Superior Court to force the school system to fire him.

But as of Tuesday night, officials at the Greene County School System would not comment on whether Cory Hunter, who is also the boys’ varsity basketball coach, has faced any kind of disciplinary action

“There is no way that man should be in a classroom,” said Shaniaya Hunter’s attorney Ben Windham, who took the case pro-bono.

Since the December incident Shaniaya Hunter has had a harder time staying in the classroom. Part of that is because she had eye surgery in January. (During the teacher’s attack on her, he made fun of her limited eye-sight as well).

But, according to her family, she has also suffered abuse on social media and from classmates who have called her a “snitch” for exposing Cory Hunter. “She sticks to herself now,” said her mother Cathy Wright, who has taken her daughter off of social media. “She cries a lot because it is still in her head.”

You can hear the shocking moment in this WSB news clip:

And then there is the Lakeside High School principal in DeKalb County who resigned this week after a district probe into his alleged comment to security guards and janitors. Principal Jason Clyne is purported to have said, "You don't want to mess with me. I'm a redneck master with a degree. I run these 40 acres."

The district pulled Clyne from Lakeside when the remark was reported in late January. Clyne resigned Friday and will work from home, receiving assignments from the Office of Legal Affairs until his contract ends June 30, according to DeKalb school chief Steve Green.

Using state open records laws, the AJC's Marlon Walker reports further today on the DeKalb Schools investigation today:

District staff investigating that incident uncovered six other allegations made before this school year. Green said Clyne already had been under investigation for two other complaints made during this school year.

"The situation at Lakeside was on my radar, " Green said Tuesday morning. "The things I knew about, we did an investigation ... somewhat early in the process, and we were trying to work through the process."

According to a file received through an open-records request, investigations found that Clyne had:

> allowed parent volunteers to use his computer log-in to access and update student records

> made unauthorized permanent grade changes for students

> made racial and discriminatory comments about black people to an assistant principal

> made inappropriate sexual comments to an employee

> improperly mediated with students about a Confederate flag using school colors being passed around on social media

Some investigations never reached a conclusion. Ron Ramsay, the district's chief legal officer at the time, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.