- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

RICHLAND, Miss. (AP) - Rankin County schools officials say a Richland teacher has resigned after failing to get approval to show a movie to a high school class.

Rankin County district assistant superintendent Richard Morrison tells The Clarion-Ledger (https://on.thec-l.com/1gMRAXV ) that Mary Porter submitted her resignation while school officials were investigation reports that she showed the R-rated movie “Dolan’s Cadillac” to students last Thursday.

“There were some parents who let the principal know they felt like it was an inappropriate movie to show in class, and an investigation was started at the school,” Morrison said. “While the investigation was going at the school, the teacher submitted her resignation, before the investigation was complete.”

Porter was placed on administrative leave Thursday pending the investigation’s outcome, he said.

Officials said Porter didn’t get approval to show the movie to her 10th grade English class. The movie is adapted from a short story by the horror author Stephen King.

Porter has worked in education for 19 years. According to the school district’s employee directory, Porter had taught at Richland High for three years.

“All movies, regardless of their rating or their relevance, have to be approved before they are shown,” said Rankin County School Board president Cecil McCrory. “It can be a religious movie, and it has to be approved by the school. This one was not approved.”

Porter reportedly showed them the movie for an assignment in which they were to compare the movie to an Edgar Allen Poe story.

Porter told the newspaper she “cannot comment at this time, but I will in the near future.”

Porter’s absence from the classroom Tuesday elicited an outcry by students on social media, with many calling for a school walkout and taking to their phones during school hours to post their emotions and photographs taken at the school. A group of 30-40 students did walk out of the school shortly before noon Tuesday, carrying signs and gathering for several minutes near the school’s flagpole.

Morrison said there is no reason to discipline the students who protested.

“The teachers and principals let them have their moment, and then they went back into class,” he said. “The kids cooperated. The staff said that they understood their feelings, but that they (the students) didn’t have all the information.”


Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, https://www.clarionledger.com



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