W. Texas trainer suspended for criticizing student

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Associated Press

Posted on January 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM

LAMESA, Texas (AP) — An athletic trainer at a West Texas high school was suspended with pay for five days after he criticized a football player on a school blog for getting into an altercation during a game after an opponent used a racial slur.

The student's mother, Vickie Williams, had asked that the trainer be fired for saying her 16-year-old son, who is black, should not have felt denigrated by the white student's racial slur.

But the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/UEfVRG) Lamesa school district officials say while trainer Ray McCall's comments were out of line, he shouldn't be fired. Lamesa is located about 60 miles south of Lubbock.

"Ray McCall has an unblemished record of 30 years of being an athletic trainer and teacher here. The consequences that were handed out by the board were appropriate for the situation," said Interim Superintendent Cliff Stephens.

Williams said she has contacted civil rights organizations to assist her. Williams alleges that during a September football game, her son got into an altercation with an opposing player after that player used a racial slur. Both players were ejected.

In October, McCall wrote about the incident on a blog on the My Big Campus site. Stephens said the site "is where students and teachers can ask questions and post answers."

"It's just a school working site, that's what it is. We never shut anything down," he said.

While not identifying Williams' son, McCall used the blog to criticize the Lamesa student. Citing his own experience growing up white in the South during desegregation, he called the student's reaction to the pejorative "reverse racism," because he has heard black students at Lamesa use the term casually among each other.

McCall also wrote he has no "respect" for the Lamesa student and that the football player should be "ashamed" to be black.

Williams was not pleased by McCall's suspension.

"There was no justice done, certainly not for my son," she said.

Stephens said McCall's actions were not about racism.

"It was about whether he used the school blog appropriately, and he didn't. We've had discussions with him and he understands . he was out of line," he said.

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Information from: Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, http://www.lubbockonline.com

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