A high school teacher at Lawrence high school in suburban Kansas has been suspended after an investigation found that he made racially insensitive comments, a school spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
The statement from the Lawrence School District said the teacher was suspended for six months without pay for comments he made about African-Americans in the classroom and at a social gathering.
The district said in a statement that the comments were made during a classroom meeting and were not made in the context of a conversation about race.
“We are deeply saddened by the insensitive remarks that were made,” the statement said.
The school district said the school is investigating the teacher and that the school community is supportive of the school’s decision.
The district said it will review the comments as part of its internal investigation.
The Lawrence school district is the fifth district to suspend or expel a teacher in the past year.
The suspension is one of several actions taken by the Kansas Board of Education, which is composed of a Republican majority and is dominated by Republicans.
The board has taken similar action in the last month.
The board has been facing criticism from outside groups and lawmakers for the suspensions and expulsions.
Lawrence School District spokesman Brian Lassiter said Tuesday that there was no record of any disciplinary action being taken.
The superintendent said the district was not notified of the disciplinary action until after the investigation was completed.
The spokesman said there were no charges filed in the matter, but that the district will continue to review all cases for disciplinary action.
Lawson Police said they received a call about the teacher at about 10:15 a.m.
Tuesday, a little more than an hour after the school district announced the suspension.
The call was made by a student, the police said.
The officer, a 19-year veteran of the force, was not identified.
The police chief said the student had been involved in a confrontation at a nearby house where a fight had broken out, with the teacher present.
Police did not say what the dispute involved or what sparked the fight.
Lawton Police Chief David Hays said the department has received numerous calls about the incident in the area, and he said there was a “significant threat.”
The police department said the officer was not responding to calls and had gone to investigate a call of a possible fight at a home.
The superintendent said there had been a large number of people in the neighborhood at the time of the incident, and the officer’s actions were not appropriate.
The principal of the Lawrence High school, James Stebbins, said in an interview with The Associated Press that he and his students are shocked by the suspension and that he was “very upset” by it.
“I am upset and very angry and I know there’s been a lot of anger and frustration,” Stebbains said.
“This was not my intention.”
Lawson High School Principal James Stbbins says his school is “shocked and shocked” by the suspensions of three students for racially insensitive remarks.
(AP)Stbbins said he was in the middle of a discussion about race when he heard the teacher make the remarks, and that his students had no idea what was happening.
He said he and the principal are now trying to figure out what happened.
Lawland Police Department Chief David Stbbals said his officers have been called to multiple locations in the city where people are complaining about racial harassment and that one of the officers was at a high school when the incident happened.
He also said he did not know if any students had been in the high school at the same time.
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave while the district investigates the matter.