'Teacher of Year' Shirley Bunn Suspended, Said "Go Back to Mexico"

| by Michael Allen

Shirley Bunn, a two-time “Teacher of the Year” in Arlington, Texas, was suspended from her job after allegedly telling a Hispanic student to “go back to Mexico.”

Bunn, a Barnett Junior High School math teacher, has 24 years of teaching experience, but admitted she lost her temper on Sept. 30 while distributing Title 1 forms to her eighth grade class.

According to public documents, a student who had a history of being disruptive repeatedly asked his teacher for a form printed in Spanish by saying, “I’m Mexican. I’m Mexican.”

The documents said Bunn tried to tell him that he could get the forms in the office, but he continued to argue with her and repeat, “I’m Mexican.”

In response, Bunn blurted out “(Then) go back to Mexico.”

An independent hearing examiner has recommended that the school district reinstate Bunn: “Under the circumstances when taken in the context of the moment and the lack of intent for ‘Go back to Mexico’ to be a racially or nationality-based pejorative remark, I find it was not a remark of an egregious nature."

The school board is expected to meet about the reinstation recommendation soon.