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'It's awesome that he's dying:' MPS teacher on leave after tweet about Rush Limbaugh

Posted at 6:42 PM, Feb 05, 2020

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee high school teacher is under fire for a tweet he sent, saying it's awesome that national radio host Rush Limbaugh, is dying from cancer. At least one Milwaukee alderman is calling on the district to punish the teacher.

Travis Sarandos is an English teacher at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts. He’s been with Milwaukee Public Schools since 2017.

The spokesperson for Milwaukee Public Schools said he has been placed on leave pending further investigation. They released the following statement:

"We are aware of Mr. Sarandos’ actions and can confirm that he was not speaking on behalf of any students or staff of Milwaukee High School of the Arts or Milwaukee Public Schools. The district is following policy and procedures related to personnel matters."

On Monday, Sarandos tweeted, “Rush Limbaugh absolutely should have to suffer from cancer. It’s awesome that he’s dying, and hopefully it is as quick as it is painful.” The Twitter account is no longer active.

He shared his view just hours after the conservative and controversial talk radio host announced he has advanced lung cancer. Rush Limbaugh appeared a day later at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address, where the president awarded him the Medal of Freedom.

Angelica Burkett’s sister goes to Milwaukee High School of the Arts. She was disturbed to learn what was shared online.

"Posting that on social media, it's not okay," Burkett said.

Alderman Bob Donovan of District 8, said though people are entitled to their own opinions, teachers need to be held to high standards, especially when it comes to posting on public forums. Donovan is calling for disciplinary action.

"This individual is reflecting poorly on himself and on MPS," Donovan said. "I think we need to have a situation where we look up to our teachers, where we admire them."

Burkett feels the same way.

"They should be setting an example for our kids," she said.

Burkett said there's a time and place to share your thoughts.

"It looks like he's making it okay to bully and say mean things about people online. He's a teacher, he shouldn't be doing that. It's not acceptable," Burkett said.

TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association for a response. They said they have no comment.

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