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Wilmer-Hutchins Teacher Fired After Campus Protest

Wilmer-Hutchins High School | Image by Dallas ISD
Wilmer-Hutchins High School | Image by Dallas ISD

The Dallas ISD school board terminated an English teacher at Wilmer-Hutchins High School after he participated in a walkout in response to a recent student shooting.

Trustees voted to end Tyree Dean’s probationary contract after he joined students on April 15 to protest security lapses on the Wilmer-Hutchins campus. Dean, an uncertified educator with low-end mixed reviews from classroom observers, had been put on administrative leave alongside two other teachers after the walkout.

“When we were in the meeting with the investigators, they told us the two things that they were holding against me was endangering student safety and not listening to the principal’s directive,” Dean told The Dallas Morning News.

Dean denied the allegations, claiming to have never received word barring him from participating in the protest. He spoke to the local media during the event.

“The district needs to do a hell of a lot better in keeping these kids safe,” Dean reportedly told WFAA during the walkout. “Just because their zip code is different, that doesn’t mean that you treat them differently.”

As covered previously by The Dallas Express, security protocols at Dallas ISD were put in the spotlight after a Wilmer-Hutchins student, Ja’kerian Rhodes-Ewing, allegedly managed to sneak a handgun past the metal detectors and guards and use it to shoot another student in the leg on April 12.

Dozens of students staged a walkout after class resumed on April 15, with many citing safety concerns due to security being lax. This accusation was ultimately confirmed in a subsequent probe into the shooting incident conducted by the Dallas ISD Police Department, as previously reported by DX.

Dallas ISD was slow to comply with the new armed security guard mandate that Texas lawmakers passed last year. Additionally, the recently passed $1.9 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year will only add 70 more Dallas ISD police officers to the ranks.

Although the fates of the other teachers who joined Dean in the walkout are unknown, Dean received his termination letter in late April. Community members addressed the board on his behalf at a recent meeting, calling for his reinstatement, per DMN.

“I have no regrets,” Dean said. “I wanted them to know that their voice could be heard and that it mattered.”

Although Dallas ISD spokesperson Robyn Harris refrained from commenting on Dean’s dismissal, she pointed to district guidelines requiring administrators and staff to “keep the media off the campus and away from the students” during demonstrations, according to DMN.

“Oftentimes, media is housed across the street, and that could be dangerous,” Harris added.

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