9-year-old Malachi Gillis said that teacher Pam Aister was fired for standing up for him against racial slurs and violence.
Gillis has been struggling with bullying on a regular basis ever since he started attending Four Peaks Elementary school in Fountain Hills, Arizona. He would be greeted with racial slurs such as “‘You belong to a zoo,’ ‘stupid head,’ ‘monkey,’ [and] ‘crackhead.'” His mom, Jennifer Gillis, commented “Your kids are running, talking about calling people the N-word and stuff. You must be being taught that at home.” Most teachers did not stand up for Malachi either.
Racism is still very much alive in the United States. According to an earlier report from the Inquisitr News, the recent verdict of the Michael Dunn trial over the shooting of 17-year-old Jordan Davis may be as much about guilt and innocence as it was a statement on race-based crimes in the United States.
Malachi’s mom said that the bullying began in March when school started. “The first teacher he had, it was nothing but depression, sad, self-esteem was low,” Jennifer explained. “He was being bullied, and nobody was doing anything.” “They would usually say, ‘Oh well, I’m going to let him off with a warning,'” Malachi said about the reaction from his teacher when he would report the bullying. “Either that, or they would just ignore me.”
Malachi was then switched into Aister’s class, but the bullies didn’t stop. “They were all around me and they started throwing rocks,” he said one day on the playground. This is when the teacher stepped in, sticking up for Malachi. Although it is unclear what was said, the school administration deemed the words inappropriate. “[Malachi] is in my room now. He is not alone. When you pick on him, you pick on me. It is not five to one anymore. It is five to two. There will be no more taunting, teasing and racial names called. That is not acceptable here; do you understand?” Aister later recalled during a special meeting on Monday. The teacher was then fired, and the Fountain Hills Unified School District upheld that decision.
“That makes me beyond mad because why is she being fired for something she is supposed to do?” Jennifer Gillis asked. “She’s supposed to be standing up for the students.” Malachi’s mom added, “They didn’t like it, so it turned into her threatening the kids because she stood up for this one black child in her class.”
Gillis will be suing the school district. In the mean time, Jennifer Gillis hopes that the teacher will find work elsewhere.
[Image via CBS 5 News]