Utah elementary school teacher suspended after claiming classroom was 'built for non-White students'
MILL CREEK, UTAH: A fourth-grade teacher stated in a video posted on Twitter that her classroom was "built for non-white students." Although she had shared this back in August 2022, the Granite School District investigation determined that no 'policy or legal violations' had occurred in the posting.
The identity of the teacher has not yet been revealed. However, she has been suspended from William Penn Elementary School in Mill Creek, Utah, since the video of her discussing her new role was released in August.
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She stated, "For the first time in my life I am teaching at a majority white school and I'm kind of interested to see how students and parents react to my classroom or if they even notice anything about it because it's built for non-white students," on the video. The teacher also said, "If you look around and you interact with some of the materials I have, you'll notice there's no white kids represented."
This 4th grade teacher @WilliamPennEl explains that her classroom “is built for non-white students.” pic.twitter.com/jttAA1VWqy— 👁 Inside The Classroom (@EITC_Official) August 20, 2022
Dr Nichole Higgins, Principal of William Penn Elementary School claimed the teacher's statement on her video as "very disconcerting" and said, "it is inappropriate for any employee to make students feel unwelcome in any way, shape, or form." However, representatives of Granite School District have reportedly found no legal violations in the investigation regarding the issue. According to Abc4, earlier, on August 25, Granite School District released a statement explaining that they became aware of the post and placed the teacher on leave while the district conducted an investigation of the matter. However, the release also added, “employees on their own time and personal lives have free speech rights,” further, they found no “instances of discrimination of any kind within the employee’s classroom or students.”
A message was also released on behalf of the teacher by Granite School District, “I sincerely regret the disruption brought to the school, faculty, community, families, and above all, my students. The expectations in my class are to be safe, responsible, and respectful."
The statement further said, "I built my classroom for all learners and to be welcoming of all families. I have and will continue to ensure that every student feels welcome and represented in my classroom, and I strive to provide an inclusive environment and to ensure the safety and comfort of all my students."
It concluded by stating, "I also want to reiterate the importance of parental engagement and welcome their involvement in the education of their children. I am committed to adhering to state and district approved standards, curriculum, and materials to ensure the success of my students.” Since the investigation did not find any 'policy or legal violations' the teacher will be able to keep her job and she will most likely be moved to another school within the same district.