An Indiana high school paraprofessional could lose his job after he and a student were filmed with a game of hangman that used the n-word.
Another student who filmed the two and initially posted the video to Snapchat - where someone who saw it shared it with Kokomo High School administrators - was suspended for filming a fellow student without his consent.
The eight-second video shows paraprofessional Greg Ostapa and a male student laughing and pointing at a computer tablet that showed the game of hangman with one letter missing from the n-word.
“I did not think I was going to get in trouble,” Siciley Cannon, the student who posted the video, told the Kokomo Tribune. “I would have never thought, ‘I’m about to get in trouble for this.’”
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She said school officials told her on Wednesday that she had violated the school’s policy prohibiting students from filming classmates or staff without their consent.
In a statement, according to the Tribune, school officials verified that Cannon had been punished but did not specify how. They also said the student shown in Cannon’s video has been punished, too, but offered no details.
“In all cases, the disciplinary consequences are based on the number of times a policy has been violated and also may include the number of times the student has violated other school policies, such as skipping classes or being truant from school, for example,” the statement said.
School officials said that Ostapa has been notified of his pending termination, which the school board will consider on Monday.
“Discrimination in any form is unconscionable and will not be tolerated at Kokomo High School,” principal Angela Blessing wrote in a statement to staff and students.
“I am proud of our students and staff who work to create an inclusive and welcoming school environment at KHS. We will continue our work to reinforce our expectations about mutual respect among our diverse student body.”
Cannon told Fox 59 in Indianapolis that she shot the video during study period. She said Ostapa was laughing as he told her and another African-American student to look at the tablet.
When she posted the video to Twitter on Wednesday she wrote that she didn’t “find this funny at all.”
An online petition is underway asking the school to lift her suspension and expunge it from her record.