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Student Suspended For Recording Teacher Using Slur To Return To Class; Trump Attorney Tim Parlatore Departs Legal Team; Border Migrant Encounters Down 50 Percent Since Last Week. Aired 7:30-8a ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 07:30   ET




KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: A teenager recorded her teacher repeatedly using the n-word and then, the student was the one who got suspended. She's heading back to class today.

This is what happened, according to the student's attorney. The teacher used a racial slur multiple times during a class on geometry that prompted the high-schooler to pull out her phone -- she started recording. Her lawyer says she was just doing the right thing. She was documenting her teacher's appalling behavior.

Now the family is challenging the student's suspension and demanding that school officials apologize.

CNN's Adrienne Broaddus joins us now. Adrienne, what exactly is happening here?

ADRIENNE BROADDUS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kaitlan, I can tell you that family is also wondering if that student, Mary, didn't pull out her cellphone and start recording, would we be having this conversation? As she heads to the classroom today, that teacher she recorded will not be there.


GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: Is the word n***** not allowed?

BROADDUS (voice-over): Video shared on social media shows a high school teacher using the n-word at least twice in a Missouri classroom. Mary Walton, a 15-year-old student, disturbed, began filming.

GLENDALE HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER: I'm not calling anyone a n*****. I am just saying --

STUDENT: I understand.


BROADDUS (voice-over): That was May 9. The teacher was initially placed on administration leave. The principal calling the language, quote, "inappropriate" and "inexcusable." A week later, that teacher has resigned. A statement from Springfield Public Schools announces he is, quote, "no longer employed."

But Mary was also punished -- suspended for three days over the recording -- the harshest penalty for this type of offense under school cellphone rules, her lawyer says.

NATALIE HULL, ATTORNEY FOR MARY WALTON: We've asked them to lift the suspension and let her go back to school immediately, and apologize. Mary saw something that she believed needed to be reported.

BROADDUS (voice-over): According to a news release from Mary's attorney, Natalie Hull, the geometry teacher interrupted a conversation between students about the slur, using the word several times before the recording starts. Students explained its derogatory context before one cautions the teacher about using it.

STUDENT: I'm just saying right now, as a teacher, if you want to keep your job. This isn't a threat from me.


BROADDUS (voice-over): About 50 seconds into the short clip given to CNN by Hull, the teacher notices the camera recording him.


STUDENT: Why are you saying that?


BROADDUS (voice-over): The school district says its discipline is, quote, "confidential per federal law," but noted that the student handbook limits inappropriate use of electronics and considers the identification of minor students when disseminating video.

KATE WELBORN, DAUGHTER SUSPENDED FOR RECORDING VIDEO OF TEACHER USING RACIAL SLUR: I think they're saying know your place. I think they're protecting the adults and the status quo more than they are encouraging the students to learn or grow or apply critical thinking skills.

BROADDUS (voice-over): The school district also prohibits, quote, "recording of faculty or staff in the classroom without prior approval," and recording, quote, "acts of violence."

Hull claims that policy is problematic and it has a chilling effect on students like Mary, looking to hold authority figures accountable.

HULL: They could get in trouble for capturing evidence of a crime.


BROADDUS: Meanwhile, the school district has not identified the teacher, and in this video that you saw we did not show the teacher's face. That was at the request of Mary's attorney. Meanwhile, we know the n-word is what is the alternative to the word. It's a word some people will not say.

Back during the famous O.J. Simpson trial the judge who presided over that case severely limited the use of the word in his courtroom. That was after a key witness for the prosecution used the word multiple times. And again, that was in the '90s. Today is May 17, 2023. We're talking about the word used in a classroom -- Kaitlan.

COLLINS: Yes, and the student being suspended simply for recording what was happening in that classroom.

Adrienne, as you learn more, keep us updated. Thank you

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The Senate Banking Committee got its chance on Tuesday to grill executives from Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank. More than two months ago, the sudden failure of SVB shook Americans' confidence in the banking system. It triggered a domino effect that quickly led to the collapse of Signature Bank and then weeks later, First Republic.


In his first public remarks since the collapse, Silicon Valley Bank former CEO Greg Becker achieved what few could in Washington -- unity among Republicans and Democrats as he attempted to deflect blame.


GREGORY W. BECKER, FORMER CEO, SILICON VALLEY BANK: The takeover of SVB has been personally and professionally devastating and I'm truly sorry for how this has impacted SVB's employees, our clients, and our shareholders.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you -- did you make any poor decisions?

BECKER: Senator, based on a previous question that was asked about looking in hindsight, I truly do believe that with the information we had at the time when we made our decisions that we made the best decisions that we could have.

Senator, there were a series of events -- unprecedented events that occurred that led us to where we are today.

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): No, this wasn't unprecedented. This was bone deep down to the marrow stupid.


HARLOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren pressed Becker in a heated exchange on how much of his own compensation he was willing to return.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): How much of the $40 million are you planning to return? How many times are we going to do this dance? BECKER: Senator, I promised to cooperate with the regulators as they do a review.

WARREN: Are you planning to return a single nickel to what you cost the fund?

BECKER: Senator, I know there's going to be a process review of compensation and I will --

WARREN: I'll take that as a no.


HARLOW: Joining us now, our chief business correspondent, Christine Romans.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT, ANCHOR, EARLY START: That was something -- bipartisanship on Capitol Hill.


ROMANS; We haven't seen that in a while.

HARLOW: Yes. What's your takeaway?

ROMANS: And these were -- these were Republicans and Democrats who were rightly really pressing these bank CEOs in this postmortem about what went wrong here. And Elizabeth Warren and others saying are you going to give back any of your money? You got stock all along the way as part of your compensation -- stock right up to the very end.

HARLOW: Right up to like weeks before.

ROMANS: Right up to the very end. And that gentleman and others were saying well, that's up to the board. The board makes those decisions.

And so, you've got regulators who are saying well, maybe we need to look at that then. Maybe given the fact that the Fed had written warnings -- so many of them to SVB --


ROMANS: -- over the past year that had been ignored -- maybe then you don't get your automatic stock -- you know, your stock deposit if you haven't addressed the outstanding problems. And so that might be something I think that regulators look at going forward here.

But I didn't hear much sympathy at all for these CEOs. They talked about -- the Congress -- or senators talked about how simple risk management, simple hedging. It was clear that interest rates were going to rise. Maybe we didn't know they'd rise this much this quickly but the sands were shifting. And you were very focused on a small part -- you know, your small part of the -- of the industry and the very moment for tech, in particular, where everything was changing. It should have been clear that you needed to do better risk management, and they didn't. COLLINS: But that's what kills me was watching this -- was he seemed to kind of point the finger at everyone else.


COLLINS: He said he was truly sorry but he didn't really seem to take any accountability for it or responsibility. He seemed to deflect blame for those things that --


COLLINS: -- if you're in this field it seemed pretty obvious that you should be monitoring.

ROMANS: And he also went back to a big criticism of the Fed was transitory. That inflation would be transitory. And he said look, we were told by the Fed -- the messaging from the Fed was this would be transitory -- inflation would be -- and that they would be raising interest rates to try to grapple it. And nobody knew that the Fed was so wrong and would have to get so aggressive in its rate hikes.

You can't just blame this on the Fed, especially when you had outstanding, sort of, warning letters from the regional Fed saying hey, you've got some risk management problems here. Hey, you're overexposed here. Hey, if interest rates keep rising you're going to have a problem if you need to raise money. All of those things that happened.

HARLOW: They got so many warnings but I think the real key here is that the rules don't make them comply with --

ROMANS: Right.

HARLOW: -- the warnings.


ROMANS: Absolutely.

HARLOW: That's a huge issue.

ROMANS: That's a huge issue. And I think watch this space for whether if you are not complying with the warnings, if you're going to get --


ROMANS: -- your periodic stock grants --

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: -- you know.

HARLOW: It's like saying I'd like you to be on set at 6:00 a.m. when the show starts, and maybe I will. I mean, come on.

COLLINS: You can just deflect blame if you don't show up at 6:00 a.m. HARLOW: Kaitlin will be fine.

Thank you, Christine, very much.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: So we have new reporting this morning in special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into classified documents -- Trump's classified documents in Mar-a-Lago. CNN has learned that a key attorney is leaving Trump's team. Kaitlan, this is your reporting just in. Who is it?

COLLINS: Yes, this is from me and our colleague Paula Reid. This is Tim Parlatore. He's actually a key attorney, especially when it comes to the documents investigation. We have now learned that he is leaving Trump's legal team.

He gave a statement to CNN saying, "It has been an honor to work through the interestingly legal issues," as you referred to it. He says his departure was a personal choice and doesn't reflect upon the case, as he says he believes the Justice Department is engaging in misconduct on this investigation.

That's not a surprise. That's how the Trump team feels about the documents investigation.

But Tim Parlatore is notable because he's the one who organized those searches for additional documents that you saw happen not just at Mar- a-Lago but the other properties as well last year -- at Trump's other properties. His golf course in New Jersey and others as well -- a storage facility.


And Tim Parlatore also went and testified before the grand jury --

HARLOW: Before the grand jury.

COLLINS: -- that's investigating Trump's handling of classified documents and information back in December. He was there for actually several hours in that appearance.

HARLOW: OK, there's a lot here, but this also comes after -- and I'm not saying it's linked to but just the questions that you asked Trump in the town hall about classified documents and him -- you asking do you have more classified documents and him saying not really. This is such a key probe.

And this is a guy that I think many Americans actually know his name. Trump has a lot of lawyers but this is one you know.

COLLINS: He does have a lot of attorneys and this is one we actually -- we had him on CNN maybe two months --

HARLOW: Yes. COLLINS: -- ago or so to talk about the state of the investigations and where they stand because there are so many different investigations facing Trump.

But one thing that stood out in those comments in the town hall last week when Trump said not really -- that was about showing documents to anyone.

HARLOW: Right.

COLLINS: But also the questions about -- that he raised about whether or not he knowingly took documents --

HARLOW: Right.

COLLINS: -- with him. Because they had kind of seemed to argue -- some of the attorneys previously -- that they kind of got swept up in the packing, in the moving. Trump seemed to indicate people knew he was taking those documents. He was talking about them being in plain view at that town hall.

The other thing I think that's important to note about the legal team is Parlatore says this was a personal decision and doesn't reflect upon the case. We are seeing Jack Smith's case continue. They've brought nearly everyone they could essentially bring in in front of the grand jury from groundskeepers at Mar-a-Lago to other people who helped prepare hamburgers, basically, as Paula Reid was describing it when she was reporting on that a few weeks ago.

So it is an investigation that has been heating up. It's not clear where it's ultimately going to go. Obviously, they've been trying to tie it to the documents investigations that are happening with Biden as well, and he's got his own special counsel -- and Pence. Obviously, there's a clear distinction between --


COLLINS: -- those with the -- whether or not there's --

HARLOW: A subpoena being the distinction.

COLLINS: And the obstruction.


COLLINS: If there was obstruction. But it is notable.

And I should note this also comes as there has been a lot of infighting in Trump's legal team. There always is infighting in his legal teams it seems like. I've covered him for five years now. But I do think that this is a factor in here as well.

HARLOW: Would this have any effect on his willingness or ability to cooperate with the special counsel going forward?

COLLINS: I don't know if it's with cooperating because it's a lot of subpoenas that people are getting to go before Jack Smith and they don't have --

HARLOW: Sure, yes.

COLLINS: The timelines are pretty abrupt.

But it does remain to be seen what it means to the legal team. Does he keep the entire Mar-a-Lago documents legal team in place? Do they make other changes? But it is notable Tim Parlatore, an attorney who has been dealing with this, is now leaving the Trump legal team.

HARLOW: And finally, is Trump saying anything so far -- his remaining team?

COLLINS: We've asked -- we just asked for a comment. We do know that Parlatore spoke with Trump. It's not clear what that -- what was said in that conversation. But we've just asked Trump's team --


COLLINS: -- to comment as well.

HARLOW: Fascinating reporting. Thank you.

Also this.

COLLINS: Yes. We've been tracking border crossings as they are down significantly along the southern border since the lifting of Title 42 last week. Was it what everyone was expecting? We're going to talk to Will Hurd, a former Republican congressman who represented a border district in Texas.



HARLOW: So, officials have been warning of a potential surge of migrants over the U.S. southern border since the end of the pandemic- era Title 42.

The influx of asylum seekers since the expiration of that has been, so far -- and we're not even a week in -- a little less than expected, according to Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar -- excuse me. He's reporting that a 50 percent drop in encounters over the past two days compared to last week. That's what they're seeing. You're hearing Alejandro Mayorkas also reiterate what they're seeing more broadly.

Joining us now is former U.S. congressman Will Hurd. He represented Texas' 23rd district, which is, of course, a border district.


HARLOW: It's good to have your perspective, especially not being in office so you can speak even a little bit more candidly.

HURD: Well, I've always been candid --

HARLOW: You've always been pretty candid.

HURD: -- and I've always spoken my mind --

HARLOW: Not a dig at you.

HURD: -- and been honest.

HARLOW: This is a dig -- this is a dig at those who deflect, which is not you.

HURD: Sure, sure.

HARLOW: So what we've seen so far -- and again, as I said, we're not even a week in --

HURD: Sure.

HARLOW: -- from this expiration -- but is it -- it must be encouraging to you. I just wonder if you agree with some of your fellow Republicans who are currently in Congress who said that's not going to last and that's not what we're seeing. And they point to, for example, way overcrowded detention facilities that the Biden administration can't change now because of what that federal judge ruled.

HURD: I think the issue is that people are trying to act like it's still not a crisis. It's a crisis. And a few days of decrease is not a sign that things are successful and mission accomplished.

You still have thousands of people come in the country illegal. You still have hundreds of people in these camps and shelters in places like El Paso. And just because you didn't see an increase doesn't mean that this was a success.

But let's not be shocked. Also, guess what? If you administer consequences to negative behavior you may see that negative behavior stop.

And the fact that the Biden administration is supporting more people, is that a positive thing? Of course. I mean, it should have been done two years ago.

But we've got a long way to go and the reality is men and women in border patrol are still frustrated with the lack of policy. They are the ones that have to implement a bad policy.

They're also concerned that after the human smugglers figure out the new rules that there is going to be ways to get around those new rules. And you've got to remember these smuggling operations are billion-dollar businesses. They probably made a --


HURD: -- minimum $25 billion last year.

So -- COLLINS: Yes.

HURD: So it's still a crisis. It's still a problem. Still, more work needs to be done. And we need to be working with our allies in other countries, which is not happening at the pace that I think it should.

COLLINS: But is that your sense of why the crush at the border did not materialize like we have been hearing, and the Republicans thought this was going to be this kill shot to Mayorkas, the DHS secretary --


COLLINS: -- that they've been so critical of and potentially may impeach? Is it because they rushed resources to the border and they implemented those stricter asylum rules? They sent the 1,500 troops that President Biden ordered there. Is that -- does it show that there is an ability to be able to triage when there is an expected crisis, or what does it say to you?


HURD: Well, I think what it says is that when there's consequences -- all right -- the difference is that people were concerned that they're going to be deported, and if they get deported they're not going to be able to come back after five -- for at least five years and try. So there's not going to be repeat chances to come into the country illegally. That was kind of the rumor that was going around some of the folks -- some of the folks that were trying to come here illegally.

So what does that say? That says very simple people know that if you come in between our ports of entry it's illegal, and if you do that you're going to get sent home, all right?

And so, that I think is a change that needs to continue and that -- and guess what? That's what President Obama did. That's what George W. Bush did. And why it's taken almost three years to figure it out is kind of shocking to me. This isn't -- this isn't rocket science.

And the other thing that we need to be doing that hasn't been covered much -- last week, a number of leaders from Latin American countries came in and said hey, we need more help. We want to be able to do more against the push factors --


HURD: -- that are happening in some of these countries.

HARLOW: Can we get to exactly that because I don't think this is getting enough attention? You said on "MEET THE PRESS" over the weekend -- look, the solutions are there. It just takes someone who is willing to go out and do them.

One of the economic factors that is pushing those migrants out toward the United States is the Trump-era sanctions that remain and make it more economically dire for people in those countries. Do you -- HURD: Well --

HARLOW: Do you support, at this point, those being pulled back?

HURD: Well, I support creating a 10-year plan in the various regions within Latin America that includes support using our foreign -- our foreign aid and working with the diplomatic community. There's a number of organizations that are putting resources into those countries.

HARLOW: But you could do this right now.

HURD: Agree. That doesn't -- what I just outlined does not require Congress. This is something the Biden administration can do today, and they should. And by the way, all of these countries are asking for it, all right?

This is our own back yard and we're not doing enough in order to grow the economy in these places, and that helps us. It's a fraction of the cost to solve the problem in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras than to solve the problem once it -- once it gets to our borders.

Oh, and by the way, another thing that we should be doing is streamlining legal immigration. The fact that the economy is as bad as it is but there are still so many industries that need workers, let's do that. And that bill is sitting on the table and can be brought up. Speaker Pelosi didn't do it when she was in Congress. I doubt it's going to happen this time.

But we know all the things that need to be done to address the crisis at the border, improve our economy, and work with our allies around the world. But it requires people that have understanding of these issues and the political will to solve these problems.

COLLINS: Well, and there's -- it's difficult to get that political will. A lot of people talk about it on the campaign trail but we don't always see it fulfilled once they're in office.

And this is something we talked about with Trump. I think one thing we should be clear about with the audience here is you are also weighing your own run for the Republican nomination for president -- correct me if I'm wrong.

We talked to Trump last week in this town hall as he always asserts that he fulfilled his immigration policies. But something Chris Christie has been pointing out -- he did not -- when it comes to the wall. He did not finish building --

HURD: Right.

COLLINS: -- the border wall, and he didn't finish these things that helped sweep him into office when it came to immigration.

HURD: And the crisis that we're dealing with now began under Donald Trump, right? That's something that people forget. This notion of treating everybody as an asylum seeker, which led to these increases of numbers coming into the country -- that began under the previous administration under Donald Trump.

Fentanyl increased under Donald Trump's tenure, all right? The fact that twice as many people are dying from drug overdoses than they -- than they are from gun violence -- these are shocking numbers.

So we have not seen a proper border policy in a really long time and -- but, now, it's gotten significantly worse under the Biden administration. There's no question about that.

But all of these solutions -- and to your point, yes, people talk a good game on TV and on Twitter but when it comes time to actually do something, right, nobody has the receipts to say we solve problems.

HARLOW: Can we just quickly talk about what Ron DeSantis said because --


HARLOW: -- someone just talking the talk. Let's play it. It's very quick.


GOV. RON DESANTIS, (R) FLORIDA: I'd shut down the border immediately. Why are we letting this happen to our country? It's hurting people.


HARLOW: First of all, it's part of U.S. law that you allow asylum seekers --

HURD: Sure.

HARLOW: -- in this country. Not only the huge amount of trade that crosses that southern border, it's $1.8 billion a day.


HURD: Well look, this is --

HARLOW: You can't just shut it.

HURD: This is some of the ignorance that we see from our elected officials about -- that don't understand the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. The amount of trade -- it's not just trade with Texas, right? All 50 states are impacted by trade coming through our southern border, so closing the border is going to impact our economy at a time when people are concerned with inflation. At a time when folks feel like they are worse off than they were the previous year. So doing that would have --

HARLOW: Talk about supply chain disruption. Let's just close the southern border.

HURD: For sure. For sure. But we know how to solve the problem.

HARLOW: Yes, we do.

HURD: Work with our allies.

HARLOW: Thank you for your straight talk. See, you proved yourself right at the beginning.

HURD: Answer questions, be honest. The truth will --

COLLINS: And when are you making a decision for curious parties?

HURD: Look, my -- for me, the opportunity to serve my country -- if I -- if I have an opportunity to do it I'll take it, and a decision has to come soon.

HARLOW: Soon. Thank you.

COLLINS: We'll be watching.

Former congressman Will Hurd, thank you to -- for joining us to talk about such an important issue and let us know what your decision is.

HURD: Thanks for having me on.

COLLINS: Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Republicans there who have a supermajority just overrode the governor's veto and banned abortions in the state after 12 weeks. We're live outside the state capitol with reaction, next.