Ohio teacher on leave after racially insensitive comment

FAIRFIELD – A Butler Tech teacher assigned to Fairfield Senior High School is on paid administrative leave and under investigation for making a racially insensitive comment to an Asian student.

The remark was taped by a student in the Leadership and Community Engagement class offered by Butler Tech at Fairfield Senior High School and shown to school officials.

In part, the teacher is alleged to have said: “We’re waiting for it to come on. You broke it already. What’s wrong with you? You Chinese are supposed to make computers, and you’re breaking them instead.”

A student in the class reported the incident to Fairfield school officials who immediately contacted Butler Tech, said Gina Gentry-Fletcher, spokeswoman for the Fairfield schools.

The female teacher was put on paid leave Oct. 6 – the same day the incident was reported to Butler Tech – said Michael Beauchat, spokesman for Butler Tech.

He would not release the name of the female teacher.

“The content of the video does not align with our mission or our core values,’’ Beauchat said in a statement.

“Comments like those heard on the video have no place in the classroom, and we fully understand the community’s disappointment. We are disappointed too.”

Beauchat said although the investigation is not completed, the teacher has already begun cultural sensitivity training and has expressed remorse.

This the teacher’s second year with Butler Tech and there have been no other incidents, Beauchat said. She has received a written reprimand.

Fairfield administrators have asked the teacher not return to the senior high school.

“We will respect the wishes of the district and the teacher won’t be back in Fairfield,’’ Beauchat said.

The incident comes nearly two years after Emilie Olsen, an Asian-American Fairfield Middle School student, committed suicide. Her parents said bullying contributed to her suicide.

Less than a year later, Ray Schmitz said his daughter, also Asian-American and then a middle school student, was intentionally tripped by a white, male student and believed his daughter, too, had been bullied.

The school district has since initiated anti-bullying initiatives and programs.


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