BURLINGTON — A Burlington Area School District teacher was placed on administrative leave after sharing with students plans of traveling to Washington, D.C on the same day a mob stormed the Capitol building, the district said Thursday.
The district explained in a statement that a Burlington High School student came forward Tuesday afternoon to question an assignment posted to the teacher's Google Classroom, a program used to share files between teachers and their students.
An internal investigation was launched into that information posted to Google Classroom. The teacher is now on administrative leave "so that we can investigate the totality of the circumstances," according to the statement. The district says they have not spoken with the teacher.
The school district did not detail if the teacher remains in Washington, D.C. or if the teacher participated in the riots.
The teacher used personal time off, and the trip to the capital was not related to duties as a teacher, according to the school district.
"As an institution, the Burlington Area School District does not agree with the violence and criminal activity in Washington D.C. In a time that has no precedent, we recognize that within our district, we have varying perspectives. We feel urgency in embracing our entire community of learners as we seek to explore diverse ideas without bias," according to the statement from the district.
A parent who says her son is in one of the teacher's classes spoke to TMJ4 News. She said her son showed her the teacher's post about his plans to travel to Washington, D.C.
"There's this post on my Google Classroom, it just seems kind of weird," the parent said. "So I said, let me take a look, and I read it, and I couldn't believe what I was reading."
She said her son also showed her the teacher posted in an assignment a link to a Youtube video about President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani making false claims about illegal ballots.
The Burlington Area School District did not address these specific posts the parents said her son showed her.
TMJ4 News reached out to the teacher but did not hear back.
Back in the fall, a Burlington elementary school teacher drew sharp criticism for including Black Lives Matter resource materials in her social studies lesson when her students were asking questions about unrest in Kenosha.
Read the full statement from the district below:
"On January 6, 2021, many of us were stunned by the events at our nation’s capital. The Burlington Area School District condemns the actions that took place in the United States Capitol. We also wish to express our gratitude to those who maintained public safety and express our sympathy to the families of people who were injured or lost their lives. We are aware that a district employee, a teacher at BHS, shared with the teacher’s classes plans to travel to Washington D.C. School administration became aware of this on Tuesday afternoon when a student came forward to question an assignment posted in the teacher’s Google Classroom. The teacher used personal time off and the trip to Washington D.C. was not related to any duties as a teacher. An internal investigation has been launched into information this teacher posted in Google Classroom. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave so that we can investigate the totality of the circumstances, as we have not yet had an opportunity to speak with this teacher. As an institution, the Burlington Area School District does not agree with the violence and criminal activity in Washington D.C. In a time that has no precedent, we recognize that within our district, we have varying perspectives. We feel urgency in embracing our entire community of learners as we seek to explore diverse ideas without bias."