A teacher in South Carolina recently resigned after a video of her pulling the hair of a sleeping student went viral, and now other students are rallying for the teacher to return to the school. Lisa Houston, who has been teaching at Palmetto High for 27 years, was seen standing on a student's desk, patting his face, nudging him with her foot and pulling him by his hair in order to wake him up. After the clip hit social media and spread like wildfire, an investigation was launched at which point Houston decided to immediately retire, Greenville Online reports. While the school board insists she did so on her own, Houston's lawyer Ryan Beasley feels differently. "She resigned, but I'd say it was more of a forced resignation," he told the WLTX News in Greenville.
Now, students are calling for Houston to get her job back, claiming the video was misinterpreted as aggressive when it was actually playful in nature. The Root reports that on Thursday, students marched in support from the school to the district office in a "prayer walk," and have been using the hashtag #iftheyfirehoustonwehaveaproblem on social media; reiterating the situation was taken out of context. "The whole story matters. Standing up for one of the best of teachers matters," one post said. "Bowing to sensationalism can net you many things....sadly, though, my school has lost one of its best."
Houston has maintained she was merely joking in the clip, telling WYFF she was kidding around but also acknowledged how it would be perceived by those watching it. "I know the video looks bad," she said. "If you don't know the situation, you don't know what's going on, but it was not a malicious act. It was all in fun. I want the public to know that I love the student and that our rapport with each other was great."
The school district continues to maintain that Houston stepped down "on her own accord."