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Where do students go when they feel that the adults in their schools failed them?
That question was answered by Yellow Springs schools’ students of color on Monday, May 16, when they walked out of their afternoon classes and marched to the top of the hill at Gaunt Park, a park created on land donated to the Village by formerly enslaved businessman and philanthropist Wheeling Gaunt, to share their experiences with the community.
The walk out was a response to an incident between a white teacher, Karleen Materne, and a Black student after the teacher was overheard saying the N-word. In an interview prior to the walk out, students Ela McGee and Lacey Longshaw told the News that Materne was telling a story to students, who, in turn, alerted Longshaw. Longshaw confronted the teacher, telling her that it is inappropriate to say the word under any circumstance.
“I lost my temper and yelled at her,” Longshaw said. “In response, she laughed in my face.”
Longshaw said that Materne called YSPD, claiming that Materne was assaulted by Longworth.
However, a video by of the incident recorded by student witnesses shows otherwise. According to the YSPD daily incident log, there was a call from Materne. A public records request regarding the call was not available by press time.
According to Materne’s LinkedIn profile, she lives in Dayton and has worked for the district since 2012. She also works as an adjunct instructor at Wittenberg University. Her teaching assignments in Yellow Springs, as listed on the Ohio Department of Education educator search website, included visual arts, ceramics and photography and film-making. The News was unable to contact Materne for comment.