By: Fil Alvarado
Adapted for Web by: Tracy Delatte
Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
A Denton teacher allegedly refused to grade two student reports because they were about guns. Now one mother is demanded answers and an apology.
Marshall Williams said he and his classmates were told by Mr. Dewey Christian at Denton High School to write a report on anything that they were interested in using different types of sentence structures. He chose to write about the Fort Worth gun show.
But then he said his English teacher told him he would get a zero on the assignment because of the topic.
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Williams’ mom confronted the teacher. She asked him if he had outlined any criteria for the topic and posted a video of his response on YouTube.
“So because it had guns in it you refused to grade it?” Kimberly Williams asked.
“Not just guns, but you see we’ve had a certain amount of violence and things in schools…” Christian replied.
“I’m not asking you about that. I’m asking you about the subject matter of his paper and why you took issue with it,” the mother said.
“The problem was not the subject matter…” the teacher said.
“You just told me it was the subject matter,” the mother said.
The family demanded an apology.
The Denton Independent School District said in a statement, “The teacher has accepted the paper and apologized to the student for misperceptions. The teacher’s intent was for guns not to be trivialized in any school situation because of recent events.”
“I don’t feel like I’ve gotten an apology yet. I feel like he has just stomped on our right to free speech. He told us we would not be allowed to express ourselves and didn’t even consider what we had said. He didn’t have a clue of the content of my paper before he told me… he just knew that my paper was about guns before he told me that I would be getting a zero on the assignment,” Marshall Williams said.
His mother called it blatant censorship based on personal moral beliefs.
“If it went against any district policy I would support it completely, but it doesn’t. It’s just his own moral beliefs trying to be put in his classroom and I disagree with that,” Kimberly Williams said.
Her son said he wrote about going to the gun show because it was something he enjoyed, the paper didn’t mention anything political about guns or even shooting guns.