Teacher Disciplined for Racial Comment

Natasha Kaye Johnson, Gallup Independent (NM), May 6, 2006

GALLUP—A Gallup Junior High School teacher is having personnel action taken against it for making a racially derogatory comment against a Hispanic student.

On Tuesday afternoon, the teacher, whose name school officials refused to release, allegedly made a comment to an eighth-grade student asking if he was “legal” and whether or not he had papers.

The student had missed school on Monday, and was asked if he was absent because he participated in the march against Proposition 4437. The student said he had stayed at home. Following the student’s answer the teacher then allegedly began asking questions about whether he was a legal citizen.

Principal Frank Chiapetti could not confirm the details of the incident, but did confirm that the incident was regarding a comment about a Hispanic child. He said an investigation was completed earlier this week.

“Action will be taken,” said Chiapetti. Statements from the student and teacher, as well as other students who were in the class when the incident occurred were taken.

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