For the fourth time in less than two months, a Madison school is reporting that a staff member allegedly used a racial slur in a classroom.
Jefferson Middle School principal Tequila Kurth told parents of the incident in an email on Monday afternoon after the incident was reported that morning.
“As soon as I was informed of the incident, the staff member was removed from the classroom, sent home, and we began investigating,” Kurth wrote.
“We also met with students who were impacted and contacted families. We will continue to follow up with students, including our BSU (Black Student Union), to ensure they feel safe. If this is found to be true, immediate and appropriate action will be taken using all available options for recourse.”
Jefferson Parent-Teacher Organization president Darsee Vanderloo said her eighth-grader informed her of the incident after school but had not witnessed it. The allegation is “absolutely not” in keeping with her view of the school, she said.
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“I’ve never heard or seen anything like this,” she said, adding that she had confidence in the school leadership’s ability to handle it appropriately.
Last month, West High School Principal Karen Boran alerted West families in a Nov. 16 email of a “serious incident” a few days before involving a teacher “allegedly using an inappropriate racial slur with an individual student.”
That same day, Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham indicated there had been another such recent incident. East High School Principal Mike Hernandez described it in his own email to parents as a “serious incident that occurred in a classroom” on Nov. 9 and “involved a substitute teacher using an inappropriate racial slur in the presence of students.”
And earlier in November, a teacher at Hamilton Middle School allegedly used a racial slur in front of students. The teacher has since resigned, according to district officials, and district spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson has said the substitute from East will not be allowed to return.
In the West case, “once we were informed of the incident, we removed the teacher from the classroom while the matter is being investigated,” Boran told families at the time. “If this is found to be true, immediate and appropriate action will be taken using all available options for recourse.”
The district has not yet said what happened to that teacher.