A suburban Georgia school district superintendent, in an effort to highlight diversity, reported that 140 languages are spoken in the district.
DeKalb County School District Superintendent Stephen Green issued a statement to highlight diversity in the district and urge compassion toward its immigrant and refugee student population after two teachers allegedly made derogatory remarks against illegal immigrant students, the Champion Newspaper reports.
“We are hearing a lot of conversation right now, some of it extreme, about how residents from originally outside our country should be treated,” Green wrote. “We have 102,000 students here. They come from more than 180 countries, and they speak 140 languages. We value them; we love them and we respect what their presence here says about the goodness and generosity of America – our diversity is our strength.”
Green issued the statement Jan. 30 after two Cross Keys High School teachers were removed from their posts because of the alleged anti-immigrant remarks.
The teachers were removed from their classrooms Nov. 10 as district officials launched investigations into claims they made about illegal immigrants after Donald Trump’s election win Nov. 8, the Atlanta Journal- Constitution reports.
ESOL and history teacher Susan Petre and French teacher Diane Clark resigned in late November and early December respectively instead of facing termination by the district.
The Cross Keys High School student population is 80 percent Hispanic or Latino, 11 percent black, six percent Asian, one percent white, and one percent other races, according to data from the district.
Green spoke out against teachers voicing their personal feelings in December and also made his point in January’s statement.
“Our schools will be safe places for learning and teaching,” he wrote. “We will not tolerate any form of bullying or discrimination on or off district property that interferes with learning or the rights of others.”