2 more Madison teachers investigated on reports of using racial slurs at schools
MADISON, Wis. — Two more Madison teachers have been removed from classrooms after reports of the use of racial slurs in two more schools.
West High School Principal Karen Boran said in a letter to parents Friday that, on Monday, there had been an incident at West involving a staff member who allegedly used an inappropriate racial slur with a student. Once the school was made aware of the incident, the teacher was removed from the classroom while the school is investigating.
“If this is found to be true, immediate and appropriate action will be taken using all available options for recourse,” Boran wrote.
On Nov. 9, a substitute teacher at East High School reportedly used a racial slur in the presence of students, East High Principal Mike Hernandez wrote in a letter to parents sent Friday. Hernandez said the investigation into the incident is complete and the teacher is prohibited from working in the district.
In both messages, the principals reiterated that “no matter the context or the circumstance, use of racial slurs is unacceptable in our school and throughout our community.”
The incidents came to light Friday after another Madison district teacher, who was accused of yelling the N-word at a Hamilton Middle School seventh-grade student on Oct. 31, resigned from her position.
In a statement to all Madison Metropolitan School District staff Friday, Superintendent Jen Cheatham said that in all three incidents, “we have acted swiftly and are taking appropriate action.”
“One of my personal reflections is that, by not communicating with you sooner about this event, I inadvertently communicated a desire to sweep difficult issues under the rug or a lack of commitment to our core values. I want to assure you that is not the case” –@SuptJenCheatham https://t.co/mmpwHdlJTY
— Tabatha (@TabathaWethal) November 16, 2018
Cheatham said the recent incidents in MMSD classrooms don’t reflect the district’s core values.
“The hurt and harm that such an act causes a student, a family, and in turn, an entire school and community, is astoundingly deep,” Cheatham wrote to staff. “In no way can we, as a community, accommodate or make excuses for actions that hurt the very students we have dedicated our lives to help. I have faith in our community, in the hearts and minds of our educators, and our ability to do right by our students and families.”
The teachers’ union said Friday it had been advised of the incidents. Madison Teachers Inc. Director Douglas Keillor said union leaders plan to meet this weekend “to identify additional steps we can take to collectively confront these challenges.”
“We acknowledge our actions and inactions have fallen short of (our) ideals and our silence has served to uphold the inequitable status quo,” Keillor wrote in a statement to News 3. “We stand with all students, families, community members and educators dedicated to the work of dismantling the historical and systematic racism within our education system.”
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