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White Missouri high school teacher 'used N-word and told students racism doesn't exist'

A white high school teacher in Missouri is fighting to keep his job after he was accused of using the N-word in front of students and telling them that racism doesn't exist.  

Jim Magoffin, who teaches science at Harrisonville High School, defended himself against the allegations at a public school board hearing on Tuesday after the district and superintendent requested his contract be terminated.   

The hearing attended by more than 100 people centered around testimony from multiple students who recalled how Magoffin allegedly used the N-word several times during an AP biology class in April while discussing rap music. 

Harrisonville High School Jim Magoffin (pictured with his wife) is fighting to keep his job after he was accused of using the N-word in front of students and telling them racism doesn't exist

Magoffin defended himself against the allegations at a public school board hearing on Tuesday (pictured) after the district and superintendent requested his contract be terminated

Duane Martin, an attorney for the school district, told the school board that students recall the teacher using the racial slur during a classroom discussion on why the N-word could be used in rap music but not everyday society, Fox 4 News reported. 

'He used the phrase N-word, N-word that,' one student testified.

'It was more of Black people can say the word and white people can't say the word, and it's a double standard,' another student  said about the incident.  

Magoffin's attorney Jean Lamfers that the teacher's use of the slur in the classroom is similar to using the word when teaching the book to Kill a Mockingbird.  

'This six-letter word is used in the curriculum. How is that any different?' Lamfers asked Principal Mark Wiegers.

'To Kill a Mockingbird is taught in an English classroom. Talking about rap culture is not a part of AP Bio curriculum,' Wiegers responded.

The hearing attended by more than 100 people centered around testimony from multiple students who recalled how Magoffin allegedly used the N-word several times during an AP biology class in April while discussing rap music 

Students at Harrisonville High School (pictured) also say they recall Magoffin say that he would never support Black Lives Matter and racism doesn't exist in America

The district also alleges that that while Magoffin was teaching a physics class he referred to Martin Luther King Jr. Day as 'Black Privilege Day' and that students recall him say he would never support Black Lives Matter and racism doesn't exist in America.

'Student five said that he did reference Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as 'Black privilege' and at the time, he claimed that racism didn't really exist in the United States,' Wiegers said. 'He told me and my classmates that racism only existed in Germany, and it was towards the Turks.'

In a separate instance, the district alleges a student said Magoffin told her she couldn't go on a walk during a break with her advisory group because she's black.  

Magoffin is also accused by the same student of being 'fascinated' by her hair. 

The science teacher has been at Harrisonville High School since 2012. 

In 2017, students with the the school's art club raised money to surprise him with colorblind glasses, ABC 15 reported. 

Magoffin said he has been colorblind since he was a child.

On his LinkedIn profile he mentions he also served as a pastor at Walnut Grove Presbyterian Church since 2011.  

'I have a passion to work with others as they seek to grow, learn, and discover more about the world around them,' he wrote. ' My goal is that those whom I serve will find great truth, passion and hope in life, which will motivate them to live lives of purpose, compassion, service , and praise.'

Harrisonville Superintendent Paul Mensching recommended terminating Magoffin. 

'I believe it is our job to protect students at all times,' he said at the hearing. 'We can not allowed our students to be exposed to that kind of harm.'

At the end of the 11-hour hearing the school board announced it would go into a closed session to deliberate and will return with its decision.

As of Wednesday morning no decision has been announced.  

If Magoffin keeps his job, his boss has asked that he undergo diversity and sensitivity training, Fox 4 News reported. 

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