Investigated Cross Keys teachers resign

Two Cross Keys High School teachers have been removed from the classroom following allegations they said disparaging remarks about undocumented immigrants. Cross Keys High School’s student body is 80 percent Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent Black, 6 percent Asian, 1 percent White, and 1 percent other races.

Two Cross Keys High School teachers have been removed from the classroom following allegations they said disparaging remarks about undocumented immigrants. Cross Keys High School’s student body is 80 percent Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent Black, 6 percent Asian, 1 percent White, and 1 percent other races.

Two teachers who were removed from Cross Keys High School in November over allegations of anti-immigration remarks have resigned, according to DeKalb County School District (DCSD) officials.

Officials said Diane Clark, a French teacher at Cross Keys, resigned effective Nov. 28 while Susan Petre, an English as a second language (ESOL) teacher resigned on Dec. 1. 

Both teachers were being investigated for alleged remarks involving immigration on Nov. 10. One teacher reportedly said she was glad Donald Trump won the presidential election because he would rid the country of undocumented immigrants.

It was confirmed on Nov. 14 that both Clark and Petre were removed from the school the same day in accordance with DCSD protocol.

“In accordance with established protocol, he began an investigation on Nov. 10 when the allegations were brought to our attention,” DCSD officials stated on Nov. 15, when news broke a second teacher had been removed. “The two teachers in question were removed immediately from the school pending completion of the investigation. The health and safety of all our students are our top priorities. Threatening, abusive behavior will not be tolerated in any way and such behavior will be dealt with without delay.”

DCSD superintendent Stephen Green said any disparaging remarks are unacceptable in the realm of teaching.

“We have expectations for our teachers,” Green said. “Even though they have personal feelings, they have to realize that they have an audience who’s watching them and counting on them.”

Sources told The Champion that some students at Cross Keys High were so upset after hearing remarks from the two teachers that they spoke to counselors and administrators. 

The same sources said the rhetoric used by the two teachers was nothing unique to the atmosphere surrounding Trump’s campaign and may not have had any malicious intent.

“These aren’t teachers with terrible reputations,” one source said. “They were really just repeating things said during the campaign, and if you repeat those things in front of students, it’s inappropriate.” 

Sources also said certain students said they felt bad about reporting the teachers because of their normal rapport.

According to the school’s website, Cross Keys High School’s student body is 80 percent Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent Black, 6 percent Asian, 1 percent White, and 1 percent other races. 

The website lists Clark as one of two French instructors and Petre as one of five ESOL teachers. 

 

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