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A West Hartford teacher is under investigation for allegedly using a racial slur

A teacher at Sedgwick Middle School (above) is at the center of allegations that she used several racial slurs and racially profiled a student in front of her class.
Dave Wurtzel
/
Connecticut Public
A teacher at Sedgwick Middle School (above) is at the center of allegations that she used several racial slurs and racially profiled a student in front of her class.

In West Hartford, a teacher accused of using a racial slur in class is under investigation.

A mother says her child told her the teacher allegedly used the N-word twice in front of students.

According to the Hartford Courant, this occurred when the teacher was reviewing a presentation on class policy and discussing rules for the class at Sedgwick Middle School.

Following the complaint, West Hartford school superintendent Paul Vicinus sent an email to parents.

“Despite a very positive and exciting opening, a truly unfortunate event that transpired last week has cast an ugly shadow over the typical celebrations of the opening of schools,” he said.

Vincinus said the district does not condone derogatory language, racial slurs, and hate speech in West Hartford Public Schools.

“School administration takes these reports very seriously and acted immediately in removing the teacher from the classroom,” Vicinus said. “We are conducting a thorough investigation while simultaneously taking all appropriate steps to ensure the safety of our students and providing all necessary supports.”

During a Board of Education meeting Tuesday, West Hartford Board of Education chair Lorna Thomas-Farquharson read a statement which stated that the board had been made aware of “an allegation of a racial slur uttered in the presence of students,” the Courant reported.

“We would like the community to know that the Board of Education and the district administration take these matters seriously and remain committed to our vision, to value and honor all of our community," she said. "The district’s administration is investigating thoroughly.”

The investigation into the teacher may include suspension and/or termination, Vicinus said in his letter to parents.

“WHPS is a district that prides itself on our ability to foster school environments that are inclusive and equity-driven,” he said. “Incidents such as these remind us of the importance of our collective work to create safe and welcoming spaces for all.”

Lesley Cosme Torres is an Education Reporter at Connecticut Public. She reports on education inequities across the state and also focuses on Connecticut's Hispanic and Latino residents, with a particular focus on the Puerto Rican community. Her coverage spans from LGBTQ+ discrimination in K-12 schools, book ban attempts across CT, student mental health concerns, and more. She reports out of Fairfield county and Hartford.

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