The family of a Georgia high school student is seeking justice after reports of a Greene County teacher calling the student “the dumbest girl that I have ever met,” among other hurtful and vicious comments.
The incident happened last December when Shaniaya Hunter, a junior at Greene County High School, was in class audio recording her history teacher’s lesson on a school-issued iPad. Shaniaya suffers from an eye condition known as retinal detachment and retinal holes.
According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), the retina is pulled from its normal position and if not treated promptly, retinal detachment can lead to permanent vision loss.
WSB-TV reports that after Shaniaya asked her teacher, Cory Hunter, a question, the alleged teacher’s voice on the recording can be heard saying:
“I have been around for 37 years and clearly, you are the dumbest girl that I have ever met.”
“You know what your purpose going to be? To have sex and have children, because you ain’t gonna never be smart.”
“Then she can’t see; she can’t work an iPad.”
“It really hurt me inside,” Shaniaya told WSB-TV. “I don’t think it’s OK. I don’t think he should be here.”
Attorney Ben Windham agrees.
“This man does not need to be teaching young children. It’s not a gray area. End of story,” Windham said.
Cathy Wright, Shaniaya’s mother, reached out to Windham – who is handling the case pro bono – after getting nowhere with the school district and learning that the teacher is still teaching. She does not know if any disciplinary action has been taken against the teacher.
The verbal attack is still very difficult for Shaniaya to discuss and she thinks about Hunter’s words often.
“Sometimes when I’m day dreaming, the exact words that came out his mouth that he said about me, I hear it in my head and my eyes will get teary,” she said.
Shaniaya had eye surgery in January, and was afraid to return to school for fear of what Mr. Hunter might say.
Bullying is often among peers, but what happens when the bully is your teacher in a position of power?
Shaniaya, #DearBlackGirl, please know that you ARE smart and you are courageous.