A Stoughton, Massachusetts teacher says she remains mystified why she was suspended for rescinding a college recommendation letter from a student who had taped a swastika on a wall at the high school.
"It is a little discouraging that these things are happening but the support is very nice,” the teacher said.
According to a letter sent home to parents, Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi said the incident happened days before Thanksgiving. The superintendent went on to say a classmate told the student she was offended and he took down the swastika.
"She was an amazing teacher to me, I don't know why they suspended her, if it were me in control I would have never suspended her, she is amazing," Gabriel Ramos, a former student, said Thursday.
Days after the first incident, according to the district, another student came forward after a fellow student used a swastika in a group chat with fellow students.
"The high school administration's immediate response was woefully inadequate, especially when compared to other towns," John Gunning, President of the Stoughton Teacher's Association said.
After the incident, Gunning says two more teachers received letters of reprimand in their files after talking about the incidents with students.
The district declined to comment citing personnel restrictions.
"We at Stoughton Public Schools are all committed to eradicating hate speech, and have no tolerance for racist, anti-semitic, homophobic, or any other kind of bigotry or discrimination," Dr. Rizzi wrote to parents.
The district also brought in the Anti-Defamation League in to hold training sessions with students last week.
The first teacher, who was suspended without pay for 20 days, says she is appealing the decision.
Former students remain shocked.
"Stuff like this never happens, it’s a pretty good school and it is surprising to hear something like that," Jeremy Yasi said.