Texas student's mom says pencil shavings incident motivated by race

A Texas mother is filing a civil rights complaint against her son's 8th grade teacher, accusing her of pouring pencil shavings into his mouth.

CBS DFW reports that Deidre Brown, the mother of 13-year-old Marquis Jay, filed a complaint with the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights against the district.

The teacher, who works at Boles Jr. High School in Arlington, was handed a brief suspension following the incident in January, but has since returned to work.

Brown's attorney says the district didn't handle the teacher's actions appropriately, that the boy involved was discriminated against because of his race and disability, and that the school was trying to cover up the whole thing.

"Instead of coming out clean and saying we don't tolerate this, they decided to cover it up and let her go back to class," said Local Civil Rights Activist Kyev Tatum. "There's no difference between what they did and the administration at Penn State [University] did."

Brown says she believes the actions were motivated by race, and that her son was the "only black student in the class that day."

United Educators Association, the union representing the teacher, denies the allegations and said the incident was fully investigated. "She's apologized to the student has also apologized to the student in front of the class ... Race did not play a role at all in this," said Steven Poole of the UEA.

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