Burlington teacher who was at Capitol riot to be reinstated

Burlington teacher who was at Capitol riot to be reinstated

The Burlington Area School District says it will reinstate a high school teacher, even after some parents complained about information he presented to students.They said Jeff Taff shared conspiracy theories about the pandemic and posted to students in Google Classroom about “election integrity” while attending the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.After five months of investigation, the school district said, “The investigator concluded that the teacher did not violate board policies or state and federal laws as it pertains to any alleged discrimination.”Further, there is no evidence that the teacher engaged in any unlawful activity on January 6, 2021, while in Washington, D.C.”The district said it met with Taff to “discuss the recommendations offered in the report and reiterate expectations moving forward.” The district said Taff will “participate in professional development related to culturally responsive education” and “will meet with district administrators to discuss expectations for curriculum and the discussion of controversial topics.”The district also said Taff will be observed consistent with and in addition to the district’s educator effectiveness protocol. A statement from Taff’s attorney says, “Jeff would like his students and community to know that “truth trumps accusation.”Taff will return to teaching in the fall. Taff has been a teacher in BASD since 2014. Taff appeared once on camera when WISN 12 News went to his home in February. Taff declined to comment then. His attorney on Thursday asked WISN 12 News not to contact Taff. Some parents told WISN 12 News on Thursday that this is not the first time students have felt uncomfortable in Taff’s class. “The way they described it is ‘cringey,'” said Auriel Rene, whose daughter’s boyfriend had Taff as a teacher. “Like not necessarily the best way to discuss something or uncomfortable to hear.””Given the number of former students that came forward to talk about things in his class, it just seems wrong that they were all like, ‘Oh no, we’re all good, he didn’t violate any sort of policy,'” Rene said. “Are they going to send him to what, a 30-hour online class and give him a nonexistent slap on the wrist and he’s been on paid vacation this entire time?””There are so many good things about the district, but I think this is definitely a huge failing. It’s discouraging, especially to the community of color that we have here,” Rene said. John Phetteplace said his son had Taff as a teacher and was uncomfortable in his class too. “He was uncomfortable about the emails that got sent out,” Phetteplace said. “He also said there were things (Taff) talked about in the classroom that were anti-semitic, a little bit, and it was uncomfortable for him because his mother is Jewish and he is Latino.””Straighten up. Realize these are children and one of my children was in your class and he felt uncomfortable, he was just too scared to say anything about it,” Phetteplace said.

The Burlington Area School District says it will reinstate a high school teacher, even after some parents complained about information he presented to students.

They said Jeff Taff shared conspiracy theories about the pandemic and posted to students in Google Classroom about “election integrity” while attending the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.

After five months of investigation, the school district said, “The investigator concluded that the teacher did not violate board policies or state and federal laws as it pertains to any alleged discrimination.

“Further, there is no evidence that the teacher engaged in any unlawful activity on January 6, 2021, while in Washington, D.C.”

The district said it met with Taff to “discuss the recommendations offered in the report and reiterate expectations moving forward.” The district said Taff will “participate in professional development related to culturally responsive education” and “will meet with district administrators to discuss expectations for curriculum and the discussion of controversial topics.”

The district also said Taff will be observed consistent with and in addition to the district’s educator effectiveness protocol.

A statement from Taff’s attorney says, “Jeff would like his students and community to know that “truth trumps accusation.”

Taff will return to teaching in the fall. Taff has been a teacher in BASD since 2014.

Taff appeared once on camera when WISN 12 News went to his home in February. Taff declined to comment then. His attorney on Thursday asked WISN 12 News not to contact Taff.

Some parents told WISN 12 News on Thursday that this is not the first time students have felt uncomfortable in Taff’s class.

“The way they described it is ‘cringey,'” said Auriel Rene, whose daughter’s boyfriend had Taff as a teacher. “Like not necessarily the best way to discuss something or uncomfortable to hear.”

“Given the number of former students that came forward to talk about things in his class, it just seems wrong that they were all like, ‘Oh no, we’re all good, he didn’t violate any sort of policy,'” Rene said. “Are they going to send him to what, a 30-hour online class and give him a nonexistent slap on the wrist and he’s been on paid vacation this entire time?”

“There are so many good things about the district, but I think this is definitely a huge failing. It’s discouraging, especially to the community of color that we have here,” Rene said.

John Phetteplace said his son had Taff as a teacher and was uncomfortable in his class too.

“He was uncomfortable about the emails that got sent out,” Phetteplace said. “He also said there were things (Taff) talked about in the classroom that were anti-semitic, a little bit, and it was uncomfortable for him because his mother is Jewish and he is Latino.”

“Straighten up. Realize these are children and one of my children was in your class and he felt uncomfortable, he was just too scared to say anything about it,” Phetteplace said.

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