SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A substitute teacher in Salem is accused of telling a 5th-grade student to “go back to Mexico” after the student said he didn’t want to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
The incident happened Tuesday at Swegle Elementary School in the Salem-Keizer School District where the unnamed substitute teacher has worked for the past 2 years.
A spokesperson for the district said a student wasn’t participating in the Pledge of Allegiance and, after the substitute teacher made a racial comment, the student reported what had happened to his assistant principal.
“We are so proud of [the student],” said Lillian Govus, director of community relations and communications at Salem-Keizer Public Schools. “It’s hard to stand up to an adult and say that an adult is wrong. But, in this case, he did the absolute right thing.”
The substitute teacher will no longer be allowed to teach in the district henceforth.
“We were able to take action quickly, remove the teacher from the classroom and remove her from our rolls altogether,” said Govus.
Govus added that the school does not demand kids to say the Pledge of Allegiance and wants young people to be able to make their own decisions.