US New York Spanish teacher seeks $1.5 million after being fired for controversial assignment

12:30  01 december  2022
12:30  01 december  2022 Source:   revolt.tv

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Karen Hamm worked as a Spanish teacher in Williamsville, New York for 30 years. From 2007 to 2021, she claims to have used the same translation exercise for her students. However, in January, concerned parents brought the assignment to the attention of local news station WIVB 4.

spanish teacher © Getty Images spanish teacher

Hamm faced disciplinary action after it was discovered that she distributed a lesson asking students at Mill Middle School to translate disturbing sentences. The worksheet featured beginner examples with simple translation requests such as, “I am a student at Mill” and “Where are you guys from?” But parents were not okay with sentences like, “You are Mexican and ugly” and “You are pretty and American” — which appeared on the worksheet. In January, the Spanish teacher was suspended with pay. After months of review, on Nov. 21, the district and the Williamsville School Board terminated her employment.

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“As a district, we are committed to creating a learning environment where all students — regardless of gender, culture, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation — are welcomed and celebrated,” a spokesperson for the district said on Monday (Nov. 28). Now, Hamm is suing for $1.5 million, requesting she be rehired and awarded back pay. She argued that in her 15 years of giving the lesson, she was wrongfully terminated after one parent complained to the Mill Middle School’s principal in December 2021. The former Spanish instructor gave a statement through her attorney, Todd Aldinger. “The decision and the penalty of termination is shocking to the conscience and disproportionate to the conduct at issue,” they said.

One of the parents who saw an issue with the lesson said Hamm’s teachings had a “lack of ethnic sensitivity and loaded bias.” The instructor graduated in the Williamsville area and has taught Spanish and French at the middle school since 1992. She claimed that the principal was always aware of her assignments.

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This is interesting!