Education

Teacher placed on leave for showing controversial documentary returning to class Tuesday

Teacher placed on leave for showing...

MOUNT HOREB, Wis. - A teacher who was placed on administrative leave after showing a controversial documentary in class earlier this month will return to work Tuesday.

The district decided to perform a thorough investigation and placed the teacher, Beth Maglio, on paid administrative leave. She was told by the high school principal on Friday to gather her belongings from class, instead of walking her out. He ended up checking in on the classroom later, and saw that Maglio was still there.

Students at Mount Horeb High School protested outside the school before class on Monday after one of their teachers was placed on administrative leave.

Several students said Maglio is very active in the school community and goes out of her way to make them feel supported. They said it especially shows in a class where students recently watched a graphic documentary.

The documentary, called "Miss Representation," was shown to students as part of a gender inequality lesson. Some did not feel it was handled in the best way and got administration involved.

Dr. Steve Salerno, superintendent for Mt. Horeb School District, said it wasn't necessarily the film that was the problem, but the method in which it was shown.

According to a release from the district, Maglio will return to class Tuesday with the understanding that the class is moving forward with a “renewed sensitivity to those we serve.”

District officials said Maglio will get time to fully develop a curriculum that is more sensitive to the unique learning needs and experiences of young people, and parents and students will be able to consider whether they would like to participate in all, some or none of the curriculum.

“I am deeply appreciative that our students were respectful while letting their feelings be known,” Salerno said in a statement. “It bears worth noting: All members of our school community should be reminded that retaliation will not be tolerated for any individuals coming forward to express concerns or support for the method by which this lesson was taught.”


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