Terminate Teacher Joe Hanna and Address Racism in Danbury Schools

Terminate Teacher Joe Hanna and Address Racism in Danbury Schools

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Fairfield County Anti Racism Education Collective started this petition to Superintendent Sal Pascarella

We, residents of Danbury, which is one of the most racially/ethnically diverse towns in Northern Fairfield County, are deeply dismayed at the news today of racist comments made by Physical/Health Ed teacher Joe Hanna.

 As our nation and state reckon with 400 years of systemic racism and the continued oppression of Black and Indiginous People of Color, we expect our school system to be at the forefront of confronting this painful history, and to lead the way in helping our youth create a more just and equitable society. It is impossible for this to occur if teachers such as Joe Hanna are allowed to continue to teach our youth. Racism and Xenophobia have no place in our school system. Danbury Public Schools must unequivocably insist that its' teachers reflect the future we hope to create in our world.

Many of us have, in the last few days, witnessed Mr. Hanna’s ongoing racist rants and diatribes on social media attacking people of color. In social media videos he can be seen threatening individuals in the community, attacking political groups he does not like, and using racist, violent, homophobic language. We are concerned that Mr. Hanna’s clear biases, violent tendencies, and deranged philosophies have harmed other students in the past, and presented a danger to them, and yet, were never reported until recently. We fear that his fellow staff members were aware of his problematic and dangerous behavior, yet did nothing to see that he was removed from his position.


Therefore, we demand the following steps be taken immediately:

1. The Danbury BOE and Superintendent should create and host an open dialogue with the parents of students in the Danbury School System to address issues of racism that their children have witnessed/experienced while in school at the hands of fellow students and staff including but not limited to Mr. Hanna.

 2. Create an active anti racist curriculum for students, and another for staff to engage in as a mandatory part of their education in our public school system or their employment therein.Training which encourages them to actively protect and advocate for their students of color, rather than be bystanders.

 3. Perform an Inquiry into any and all allegations of racism discovered during this open dialogue at the hands of Mr. Hanna and any other teachers/staff in speech online, or off.

 4. Immediately terminate Mr. Hannas employment and create a mark on his employment record so that his history of racist comments can be seen by any future employers. Signed, the below residents of Danbury. Resignation is not enough. Mr. Hanna must not continue to teach here, or anywhere, as we believe he posts a clear and present danger to our community and our children. 

 

 

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