JANUARY 29, 09:53 ET
Mo. Teacher Is Fired for Racial Comments
CRYSTAL CITY, Mo. (AP) — The city school board voted unanimously to fire a teacher who told a class she opposed interracial marriage and believed mixed-race couples should not have children.
Eighth-grade teacher Jendra Loeffelman, who was tenured with 13 years in the 700-student district, maintains her concern was only that mixed-race children might be victims of teasing.
Crystal City Superintendent Ron Swafford would not comment on what grounds the board used to fire rather than discipline the teacher.
In two nights of public hearings leading up to the Tuesday night vote, both sides agreed that Loeffelman told a class in October that she opposed marriage between people of different races.
Grace Bingham, 32, a parent of a mixed-race student, testified that Loeffelman also told her in a phone call that mixed-race students often came to class unkempt, and that interracial couples should be ``fixed'' to prevent them from having children.
``She said that biracial children should not exist, and that's what my son believes now,'' said Bingham, whose 14-year-old son, Billy, was in Loeffelman's class.
Loeffelman, 52, testified she was simply giving an honest opinion to a student who was working on a paper about interracial marriage for another class. She said she told the student she was ``totally against'' interracial marriage. She said she believed interracial couples shouldn't have children because ``I don't want to see children teased for any reason.''
Loeffelman's attorney, Charles Ford, hired to represent her by the Missouri State Teachers Association, said he would urge her to appeal the school board vote.