A Virginia English teacher is in trouble after an apparent attempt to comfort a Hispanic student frightened by Donald Trump’s election.
The teacher, whose name has not been released, asked Centreville High School students to write an essay, including obscenities if necessary, reacting to Trump’s election.
“Trump can kiss my ass,” wrote one student, who said she was disgusted with the outcome of the election. “I am thankful for the life I have and my family (which Trump is trying to deport because we are Hispanic, but whatever).”
Responding to that concern, the teacher wrote: “(If I may ask) are you legal or illegal? It depends on that factor. I hope you get to stay!”
The student photographed her teacher’s comments, publicizing them through Snapchat. Kelly Valera, her mother, met with the principle and vice principle and got her daughter pulled from the English class and assigned to another teacher.
Valera told local media her daughter was “scared because of the way her teacher made her feel” and “can’t even walk down the same hallway she used to walk down because she wants to avoid that teacher.”
Fairfax County Public Schools issued statements calling the teacher’s comment “inappropriate,” noting that teachers are not allowed to ask about a student’s immigration status. The school district declined to specify what disciplinary measures were taken, though they said “the matter was immediately addressed.”
One in four students attending Fairfax County Public Schools are Hispanic, and 17 percent take special English classes for students who grew up speaking a different language. The district also offers special resources to students from immigrant families, including a free nine-hour curriculum for parents reunified with their children after living in different countries.