Teacher suspended for pulling letter of recommendation for teenager who put up swastika

Teacher suspended for pulling letter of recommendation for teenager who put up swastika
Posted at 5:48 PM, Feb 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-03 17:48:31-05

A Massachusetts high school teacher has been suspended after she rescinded a college letter of recommendation for a student that decorated the halls of a school with a swastika.

The suspension was announced at a school board meeting earlier this week, according to WFXT-TV.

The student was allegedly caught making a swastika out of tape and making remarks about Adolf Hitler in the halls of Stoughton High School in November. According to school superintendent Dr. Marguerite Rizzi, classmates reported the incident, and all those responsible were “disciplined internally.”

Police also investigated the incident and determined a hate crime did not take place.

But the controversy surrounding the incident didn’t die down. Teachers began discussing the incident with their colleagues and in private with a few students.

That’s when a parent of the teenager who made the swastika filed a complaint against two teachers, claiming the teachers were creating a hostile environment. The complaint alleged that the student had already been punished for his actions, and that he was being targeted by his teachers.

The third teacher was suspended after contacting a college and retracting a letter of recommendation for the boy. She is suspended without pay, and her suspension will take place on Thursdays and Fridays for 10 weeks.

WFXT-TV reports that the teacher was suspended for reaching out to the college. However, The Enterprise reports the teacher was suspended not because she rescinded the letter, but because she told a colleague why she had done so.

Reports say that the suspended teacher is an Army veteran.

"She's a teacher and I really do like her as a person, so it was really surprising that all that happened,” said Natasha McCloud, a Stoughton High School senior told WFXT-TV.

A GoFundMe page has been started in support of the suspended teacher. As of Friday evening, it had received $1,844 of its $3,500 goal.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.