Edgeville Buzz

Senn High Teacher Has Been Removed After Alleged Offensive Remarks To Students That Wouldn’t Stand During National Anthem

A Senn High School teacher is under investigation after allegedly saying offensive comments to a pair of students who chose not to stand during the national anthem. Now it is learned that the individual has been removed from teaching at the institution.

The incident happened at an assembly towards the end of last month and was directed towards both a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old senior year girls. The younger of the two, who is Mexican-American that was born in the United States, told the Chicago Tribune that the teacher approached them when they refused to stand for the anthem and asked if their legs were broken. When she explained it was against her beliefs, the teacher replied, ““go back to your country.” She was then asked to leave the assembly for causing a disruption.

Offended and upset by the incident, the students involved wrote an email to Senn Principal Mary Beck about the situation. In that email they accused the teacher of additional offensive insults including those directed towards one of the girl’s financial status.

The students involved met directly with Beck soon after the incident to brainstorm solutions, however the girls felt that not enough was being done. On Wednesday the students organized a sit-in in the school’s hallway which was ultimately captured and put onto social media. During the protest a fight broke out resulting in the arrest of a 15-year-old student after allegedly pushing a school official.

Beck acknowledged the protest in an email sent out to parents on Wednesday and verified that she received the complaints about the teacher in question several weeks ago resulting in her initiating standard CPS policy protocol and could give out any additional information at this time. She concluded that counselors and social workers were on hand to help any student process.

Alderman Harry Osterman weighed in on the matter today in support of the students. He revealed that it is his “understanding” that the teacher has been removed pending the investigation.

“I commend the students for bringing this hurtful incident forward and for the Senn students standing in solidarity for our cherished diversity and the rights and well-being of their fellow classmates,” said Osterman in an email. “As someone who represents our diverse community, I believe that any teacher who would make these comments to a student does not belong at Senn High School or in any school.”

In Addition, a CPS spokesman commented that the alleged action of the teacher does not represent the school system’s beliefs and that the individual used “unacceptable language that violated the district’s anti-discrimination policy.”


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