Chicago – A Chicago teacher accused of telling a student that he should return to his country after he refused to stand for the national anthem was expelled from the classroom while district officials investigate, the school principal said.
Students at Senn High School in the north of the city said they heard the teacher make the comment to the 17-year-old girl, who is a US citizen, during a school assembly to celebrate Hispanic heritage on January 30.
In a letter to the school published Friday, Principal Mary Beck said the Chicago Public Schools decided Thursday to expel the teacher, who was not identified, while investigating the Office of Student Protections (OSP).RELATED
“At the conclusion of the OSP investigation, a final determination will be made as to whether it is appropriate for this individual to return to Senn,” Beck wrote.
The student who reported the comment said she and three other students remained seated during the anthem as a protest against police cruelty, US immigration policies and anti-immigrant political rhetoric.
Yesica Salazar said the teacher first asked her if she had broken legs and told her that she should “go back to my own country if I didn’t want to stop.”
The students organized a protest at the school on Wednesday against what they consider a slow response from the school to their complaint, as well as to urge the dismissal of the school teacher.
Beck said in a letter that, while working with the district to “gather information regarding this accusation, it may have seemed that the voices of our students were not heard.”
“I want to assure you that this is not the case.”