A Los Angeles teacher has been fired after telling his Latino students that their parents will be deported and they will “be in foster care” in the aftermath of Tuesday’s presidential election, according to media reports.
At Bret Harte Middle School in South Los Angeles, a physical education teacher grew tired of students not paying attention in class and told them, “your parents gotta go and they gonna leave you behind,” according to a recording one student made on a friend’s cellphone, per NBC 4.
When the student, an 11-year-old girl, asked the teacher how authorities would be able to find her family, the teacher responded, “I have your phone numbers, your address, your mama's address, your daddy's address. It's all in the system, sweetie.”
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In the wake of Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, stories of hate crimes and racist activity in schools has been on the rise, but almost all of it has come from students, not educators.
“I would think the kids would do it, but I never thought a teacher would do it,” said Jennifer Reynaga, the mother of the student who made the recording.
Reynaga’s daughter told CBS Los Angeles that the teacher is a long-term substitute.
“I was scared because how can a teacher tell us that? He’s just rubbing it in that Trump won. We already know that,” she said. “I worry about my dad because I had a nightmare that he wasn’t with me any more.”
“If the parents don’t speak up and say something, this is going to continue to happen,” Luis Reynaga, the girl’s father, told CBS.
The Reynagas filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Unified School District. Both CBS and NBC reached out to the district, and NBC reports a spokesperson declined to speak on personnel matters. However, the Reynagas said they met with school officials, who told them the teacher had been fired.
After Trump’s win Tuesday, the district’s board president, Steve Zimmer, told NBC that schools were seeking to reassure students who were afraid about the Republican’s hardline stance on immigration.
“You have scared children,” Zimmer said. “One of most important things you can do is make sure that children who have qualified for [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] know that they are safe and their status is secure.”