Sun Prairie schools investigating use of racial slur by staff member telling students not to say it

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 9:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:21 PM CDT
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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) - The Sun Prairie Area School District is investigating an incident Thursday at an elementary school where a staff member allegedly used a racial slur when trying to tell students not to say it.

In an email to all staff sent by Superintendent Brad Saron and Director of Student Policy & School Operations Nick Reichhoff, it states the incident happened on a playground during recess Wednesday at one of their elementary schools.

SPASD continued, saying a district employee working on the playground heard students using a racial slur while talking to each other. The district notes that the staff member repeated the word while talking with the students and telling them not to use it.

SPASD student services staff and other building leadership met with students who were affected by the incident and the district says all caregivers of the students involved have been notified.

The email also stated that Affinity Group members, which consist of staff of color, were able to meet with Michael Morgan later Thursday to discuss the incident. Morgan is the district’s director of systematic equity and inclusion.

“As a District, we are committed to anti-racism and do not condone the use of racial slurs or epithet,” the district wrote. “Thank you for ensuring you are familiar with the policy so that all staff and students can feel safe in our school environment.”

The district also listed its policy that addresses the use of slurs and epithets, which was updated last summer.

Epithets and slurs related to race, ethnicity, national origin, immigrant status, religious belief, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or any other physical or cultural characteristics have no place in the school environment. Staff members must not use or repeat aloud epithets and slurs in the course of their professional duties.

Sun Prairie Area School District

NBC15 asked SPASD what will happen to the staff member while it conducts the formal investigation, but it could not confirm the employee’s status.

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