CHICAGO (CBS) — A Rogers Park student says she is suspended from school for talking to CBS 2. She spoke to CBS 2 a week ago after a teacher posted a derogatory video about her sister on Snapchat and says it is a case of retaliation.
“I feel like it was because I spoke out for my sister,” Shanique Branford says.
Branford spoke with CBS 2 April 8 after a Cruz Acero School math teacher posted a Snapchat video speaking about a fight involving Branford’s little sister and another female student.
“Here we are. Got some weave in our hands. Got some cheap shots on the side because this guy is worth it,” the teacher can be heard saying in the video.
“That was very disrespectful to my sister, to my family,” Branford says.
The day the story aired CBS 2 was told the teacher was no longer employed by Acero.
Branford says on April 12 she had a conflict with a different teacher who continually questioned why she was in a classroom.
“She came up in my face, ‘Where are you supposed to be? Where are you supposed to be?'” Branford says.
She says she had permission to be in the room from the assistant principal. The same day she was handed a suspension letter.
The letter states Branford accused “the teacher of being a racist and threatened to call channel 2 news on her.”
“I said what I said,” Branford says.
Branford does admit saying those things to the teacher Friday but says her suspension is retaliation for revealing the Snapchat video involving the former math teacher.
“I’ve never been suspended before,” Branford said. “Never gotten a detention before. Like it all doesn’t make sense. Why now? Ever since I spoke out. It really hurts, to be honest, because it just makes all of the students, they’re probably scared to talk because of this. I’ll always speak out. No matter what.”
CBS 2 reached out to Cruz Acero schools, which said federal privacy laws preclude it from commenting on individual student or colleague employment matters.