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CFAUSD investigation finds “no evidence of racism” from teacher’s actions

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District concludes an investigation after a teacher was placed on administrative leave in April.

The school district, previously referred to this incident as racist and says a teacher used language that was offensive and inappropriate. Now, some of those statements are being redacted.

The incident, recorded by a student in an English class two years ago, just came to the surface about four months ago. The Chippewa Falls School District says the investigation, taken up in May and June, consisted of interviewing the teacher involved and students in the classroom.

It has been concluded, according to the district’s Executive Director of Public Relations, Michelle Golden, the comments recorded were not motivated by racism after all.

According to Golden, the teacher made statements as a part of an anti-racism lesson while studying the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. The video, capturing only a portion of the lesson was then forwarded around the school, thus being taken out of context.

The English teacher involved was laid off due to budgetary costs planned before this information came out.

Golden says although the investigation found his lesson to not have been racist or inappropriate, the district has still made adjustments to teaching plans directly resulting from this investigation.

“We did meet with the English department and the principal of the high school and the English department revisited the protocols used to address the book’s sensitive nature so that they can discuss it in a safe environment ... It was a good thing for them to come together and talk about how we teach this is 2021 and moving forward knowing about the Black Lives Matter movement and social injustices”

CFAUSD says while it’s redacting the statement from April saying the instructor’s language was racist and inappropriate. The district stands by its policy, which prohibits discrimination, bullying, harassment, and other conduct that serves as a vehicle of racism and bigotry.

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