Cheltenham Teacher Suspended for Alleged Racial Remarks
Cheltenham High School has suspended a teacher who reportedly told her students to “stop bitching about being black” while discussing election results.
Meleah Jennine Brame and other parents of Cheltenham students told the Inquirer that the teacher made the remark in class while discussing the Black Lives Matter movement and the impending Donald Trump presidency. Parents reportedly met with school superintendent Wagner Marseille to discuss the incident, which they say prompted one student to leave the room in tears.
The district has not named the teacher. Parents identified her as Stacie Stoops, according to the Inquirer. A man who said he was her husband told a reporter from the newspaper that she “did not want to discuss the situation.”
The incident is currently being investigated. Cheltenham’s Board of School Directors posted a letter to the community shortly afterward.
“Cheltenham is an inclusive and diverse community and school district, and we cherish the unique differences that make us so,” the letter reads. “We do not and will not tolerate acts of discrimination and intimidation of our students and staff, and the School Board and Administration are working diligently to ensure intimidating speech and actions are unable to take root in our school district. We are an educational organization, and there is no room for hate or intimidation based upon racial or ethnic characteristics, socioeconomic class, religious belief, sexual identification or disability.”
The district’s board and administration have been meeting regularly discuss short- and long-term actions to be taken in wake of the incident. Students at Cheltenham are being provided counseling and a safe space “in which to discuss their concerns and the impacts of intimidation within their building,” the letter reads.
The board has also pledged to provide the community with quarterly updates on the incident and other activities related to the effort to maintain a “hate-free” environment.
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