AFlorida high school teacher was recently fired because he apparently thought displaying his racism in front of his class was more important than keeping his job.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Cary Altschuler, an Advanced Placement statistics teacher at Lake Worth High School decided back in February that it was a good idea to place the photos of three of his students on the classroom’s whiteboard accompanied by the labels, “extra cream,” “medium roast” and “dark roast,” which were apparent references to the students’ skin tones. (In case anyone assumed he was simply ordering coffee for the kids who had trouble staying awake in class.)
After news of the incident spread around the school, Lake Worth Principal Elena Villani sent out a letter of apology to parents for the “racially charged” and “egregiously inappropriate” (not to mention painfully unclever) display of bigotry and Altschuler, who had been a teacher at the school since August 2020, was placed in a position where he had no contact with students while the incident was being investigated.
For whatever reason, it took the school board until last Wednesday to make the decision to terminate Cary Altschuler for the incident that happened four months prior. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out his in-classroom StarbuKKKs display didn’t represent the first time he had been accused of being inappropriate with students.
From the Post:
In 2018, he was formally reprimanded, placed on two years of probation and fined $750 by the Florida Department of Education after Broward County students reported that he made inappropriate and sometimes sexual comments about female students and what they were wearing. One said he also made comments about her mother’s appearance.
His school district personnel file in Palm Beach County shows he noted his prior discipline when he applied to the district for the job at Lake Worth High.
But the file does not include any details about the discipline or the complaints that led to the state’s investigation.
So, maybe it’s time teachers’ personnel files include those details. Maybe the school board in Florida should prioritize protecting students over protecting the reputations of racist, sexist and otherwise bigoted teachers.
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