A California history teacher was placed on leave in December 2019 — the second time in two months — after she allegedly made racist comments that were directed at her black and Latino students, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The unidentified teacher at Space and Aeronautics Gateway to Exploration Magnet Academy in Palmdale allegedly praised President Trump’s border wall, said that Mexicans should return to their country and claimed that she would “bring back” slavery. Students said that the teacher also mentioned torturing them and eating human flesh.
“It would be uncomfortable for me as a child of an undocumented person to go in that class and suck up all her words and her nasty comments,” Jossylin Villegas, an eighth grader at the school, said at a press conference. “Imagine being an hour in that class and having to hear her talk about how we shouldn’t be here, about how we live off of white people’s money and we’re just stealing their jobs.”
Approximately 70 percent of the school’s district is comprised of Latinos, making them the largest student population, the Times notes. They’re followed by black students, the paper further points out.
The teacher, whose room is purportedly covered in Trump memorabilia, was first placed on leave at the end of October after students made complaints about her to school staff, officials said.
Following the conclusion of the initial investigation, the teacher returned to school on Dec. 13. Shortly after, however, administrators began receiving reports from parents about the teacher making inappropriate comments again, according to the Times.
At a subsequent press conference, one student, Miguel Gonzales, claimed that the teacher had failed him due to his race, despite the fact that he had finished all of his assignments on time.
“She would make you feel weak,” he said.
Yaretzy Martinez, another student, said she received detention for purposely skipping the teacher’s class.
“I didn’t want to go to my teacher’s class that would talk bad about Hispanics,” she said. “I don’t think I was supposed to be in there. I feel like she has no right to talk bad about our race.”
The Times reports that almost all of the students at the conference agreed that they did not want the unnamed teacher to return to school.
“We don’t want her at any other school because we don’t think she’s ready to teach,” Martinez said at the press conference. “She said what she said, and she’s not going to change her mind.”
Ryan Beardsley, assistant superintendent of human resources at the Palmdale School District, said the district has since hired another investigator to look into the accusations. He added that mental health professionals have also reached out to the students at the center of the controversy.
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