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Family Considers Legal Action After Teacher Marks On Child’s Face

November 15, 1996

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ A kindergarten teacher wanted to remind a 5-year-old girl’s parents to send her to school with her glasses, so she wrote a reminder on the child’s face: ``Where are my glasses?″

Phyllis Adelsflugel, a first-year teacher, was suspended with pay Thursday for writing the message on Nina Campbell’s face with a blue marker.

``It was extremely poor judgment,″ said Chip Zullinger, the Charleston County School District superintendent. ``This is a 5-year-old child and she’s probably going to remember this the rest of her life.″

A lawyer for Nina’s family plans to sue the district, saying the incident smacked of racism. Nina is black; Adelsflugel is white.

``It is really an abomination,″ lawyer Gary Ling said, adding that Nina was ``branded.″

Adelsflugel on Wednesday wrote ``Where are my″ in large letters on the girl’s right cheek, and ``glasses?″ on her left cheek.

Nina has been attending Pepperhill only three weeks and now wants to go to another school.

``I went to go out of school and told my momma `cut on the lights and look at my face’ and I started crying,″ Nina said.

Adelsflugel had been using face painting at Pepperhill Elementary School to draw flowers and letters, Zullinger said

Parents of both races described the teacher as energetic and devoted. She made a habit of putting notes and drawings on children’s faces.

``These notes are not meant to be embarrassing to the child in any way,″ the teacher said in a statement.

She will remain suspended until a district investigation.

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