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Students in Nevada Outraged After Their Teacher Was Suspended Over Controversial Assignment: 'We're Not Being Told What to Think


"Nobody's listening to what the juniors have to say.."

Image credit: Michael D’Antuono\n

Students at Dayton High School in Dayton, Nevada, are not happy about their teacher being suspended after controversy arose from one of the teacher's recent assignments.

That teacher, Ms. Elizabeth Clausen, received a temporary suspension after she asked her students to form an opinion about the controversial "A Tale of Two Hoodies" painting. That painting surfaced following the controversial case in Florida involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

Image source: Michael D’Antuono

"The way that everyone is looking at this situation, they don't know the context of what's going on and they don't know that we're just forming our own opinion," DHS student Cameron George said. "We're not being told what to think."

"Nobody's listening to what the juniors have to say," Felicia Dukek, another student of Ms. Clausen, added. "We're the ones that are in the class everyday. We're the ones that took that final and then ... parents' opinions are irrelevant. ... They have nothing to do with it."

Still, many parents were upset over the assignment.

"That is kind of offensive and puts the wrong light on the subject it is about," one parent told KRNV-TV.

"I would be down to the school in a minute talking to the teacher," another said.

[sharequote align="center"]"I would be down to the school in a minute talking to the teacher."[/sharequote]

However, Lyon County School Superintendent Wayne Workman said in an interview with KRNV earlier in the week that they were dealing with the matter as a "personnel issue" but did not offer specifics about how long the teacher would be suspended or if she would be allowed back into the classroom.

"A KKK hooded man with a gun in their hand shooting a kid with a Skittles is not a good impression to give a child, I don't think," Workman said. "The message in there is in no way consistent with our views in regards to law enforcement."

He added that he believes the teacher was trying to start a spirited debate but said that the picture was not the correct way to go about it.

"Still, the question is could that have been accomplished in a different manner and still receive the same result?" Workman said. "Yeah, I think it could have."

While Workman was unable to give specifics, he did tell KRNV that he is working to ensure that nothing like this happens again.

In response, students who are generally in agreement that Ms. Clausen should be reinstated created the hashtag "#FREECLAUSEN," which has been trending on social media.


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