Clovis East student accuses teacher of racial slurs

Allegations of racism have surfaced at Clovis East High School. (Photo: Clovis Unified School District)

An incident report filed last Wednesday by Clovis East freshman Thailia Luna accuses ag teacher Ken Dias of directing racial remarks toward her after she refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Luna stated the following in her incident report:

“I didn’t stand up for the pledge of allegiance and Mr. Dias came up to me after the flag salute and took my phone because I was on my phone toward the end and he started yelling at me saying ‘you should be embarrassed.’ As he walked away he continued saying racial slurs, such as ‘go back to your country.’ He repeatedly told me I was a disgrace, and continuously yelled at me across the classroom from his desk. A student began to cry and asked him to stop and he told her to shut up. To defend myself I told him ‘you can’t make me stand’ but he disregarded my comment and continued lashing out at me. After he finished yelling he continued to talk about the incident with other teachers and a student.”

In light of these allegations, a student who was in the class (and asked to remain anonymous) told the Clovis Roundup that although Dias got agitated because he felt Luna was disrespecting the flag, he never used racial slurs or addressed anyone personally as a disgrace.

“[Luna] wasn’t standing for the flag salute and was on her phone,” the student said. “Dias got agitated about that because he felt it was disrespect toward the flag. He called people that do that disgraces. As far as I remember, he never personally addressed her as that, and said that people who have the nerve to disrespect the flag need to ‘go to their own country’ if they’re going to disrespect the flag in that way. One of my friends said ‘you can’t make anyone stand for the flag salute’ which seemed to make him even more angry. He raised his voice even louder at that. Then, my other friend asked to drop the subject and started crying. He asked her to be quiet. He never used racial slurs or addressed anyone personally as a disgrace, or told anyone personally to ‘go to their own country.’ After this dispute, we went into the greenhouse and his behavior returned to normal, goofy, nice Mr. Dias.”

This story will be updated.