Hateful remarks are not acceptable at Bergen County Academies
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P E T I T I O N
We are concerned parents of students at Bergen County Academies (BCA) who are deeply disturbed by the recent incidents (go to https://njersy.co/2ir9rbW for link to North Jersey newspaper article for more info) during which a BCA Spanish teacher made numerous derogatory and racist comments to students of a particular ethnic group during class sessions. The comments were not only hateful (in fact, the teacher used the word “hate” numerous times), but they also intimidated the targeted students and made them feel ashamed and uncomfortable. The targeted students are not the only victims here – all students who share the same ethnic background and all students who are taught by this teacher are exposed to her disrespect, insensitivity and poor judgment. The well-being of BCA students should be the first and foremost concern of the school administration and the Board of Education. We are disappointed at the lack of appropriate action that has been taken thus far by the administration and strongly believe it to be insufficient. It is not enough to simply move this teacher to other classrooms and allow her to remain teaching any student at BCA.
We therefore strongly urge the school administration and the Board of Education to conduct a more thorough investigation and take appropriate action including the following:
1) A written apology for not disclosing the incidents earlier and for the tepid handling of this matter.
2) Immediate suspension of the Spanish teacher’s employment until the proper course of action is determined by the Board of Education.
3) Initiation of an awareness program within BCA to educate teachers and students to be inclusive, sensitive and respectful of all members of the community and that any form of discrimination will not be tolerated.
Given the recent string of events across the nation that have displayed hatred and intolerance, now is the time for BCA to take a position and let its members and the local community know that discrimination has NO PLACE in Bergen County Academies!
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