MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The mother of a Montgomery high school student said she’s angry and heartbroken about the way a teacher treated her son at school. She said her son’s math teacher not only gave her son an unfair grade, but also publicly berated him in front of a classroom of other students.
WSFA-TV investigated the claims and went to school administrators for answers.
The parent making the claims identified herself to the TV station only as Bailey, and said her son is a junior and straight A, honor student at Jefferson Davis High School. Bailey said her son recently got a grade well below his standards – a 23 out of 100.
Bailey said her son tried several times to ask about the grade, but his math teacher, Dalsity Pinkston, wouldn’t answer his questions. In fact, Bailey said the principal told her Pinkston admitted to simply making up the grade.
“The principal stated that she just put a grade in, which is unethical and at the same time it was a 23, so she’s not there to help a student, why hurt one,” Bailey said.
The story doesn’t end there. Bailey said her son walked up to Pinkston’s classroom on Tuesday and heard the teacher making hateful comments about him in front of fellow students. Bailey’s son recorded it with his cell phone.
On the recording, you can hear the teacher say “he’s a f***** a** boy. Ask him. I’ll tell her in the conference.”
The recording is full of racial and gender slanders. At one point you can hear “Kalin such a b**** a** ni****.”
The voice is also heard threatening violence: “I’m so ready cause I’m gonna smash her g** a** son in the face. F***** lies.”
But Pinkston fervently denies the allegations made against her, and her attorney has since come forward.
“There really are two sides to every story,” said LeRoy Maxwell, Pinkston’s attorney.
Maxwell said Pinkston loves teaching, and was doing her job when she gave a student a grade that he didn’t like. Maxwell said the grade was accurate, but wasn’t pleasing to the student, who has since gone on a crusade with the help of his parents to publicly vilify the teacher who gave it to him.
“Right now, we’re targeting the teachers and educators, and no responsibility is being put on the student whatsoever,” Maxwell said.
And instead of being supported by her principal, Maxwell said that Pinkston was forced to change the grade, regardless of how appropriate it may have been.
“The school’s idea is to try and make the student happy, to prevent the mother from going to board of education, to just do what they can to make everything go away – just change the grade,” Maxwell said.
As far as proof of the test, Maxwell said Pinkston still has it, along with several other grades for the student that she has been prevented from entering into his final grade.
“After being demoralized and cursed out by the parent and her student and not being supported by staff at the school, she just lost her cool,” said Maxwell, who has also confirmed that the voice on the tape belongs to his client.
What else was his client caught saying? Most of it is too explicit to air.
“Kalin’s such a b**** a** n****,” she can be heard saying in part of the tape.
While Maxwell said there’s no excuse for his client’s inflammatory language, he said she does dispute the student’s claim that her statements were made in public. Instead, she said they were made behind closed doors in a phone call to one of the student’s family members.
“This was a teacher who had just been verbally assaulted,” Maxwell said. “She was outside the proximity of any students, and she was being secretly recorded.”
WSFA-TV has since heard from school officials at the Montgomery Public School System, who said Pinkston’s contract has not been renewed and therefore she will not longer be teaching at any MPS school next year.
WSFA has also learned that the failing grade of 23 in question didn’t affect the student’s final grade. He was still able to earn an overall A in the class.
Bailey said she feels good about the decision, but Maxwell said his client is not out of legal options to fight the decision or at least seek compensation.