Killeen ISD investigating ‘extremely disturbing’ assignment distributed to students at Rancier Middle School
KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Administrators at the Killeen Independent School District are investigating an “appalling and extremely disturbing” assignment administered to “a small group” of students earlier this week by a “now-former” Rancier Middle School teacher.
The district was notified on Jan. 18 and “immediately launched an investigation upon learning” of the assignment, said Killeen ISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft.
“I’d like to apologize. This is really atrocious and insensitive ... this is not acceptable societal behavior,” Craft said during a news conference streamed live on the KWTX News 10 Facebook page and online on KWTXtra.
Images obtained by KWTX show puzzle-like, word scramble, and coloring assignments with racial slurs and other insensitive language.
WATCH LIVE: KISD Superintendent Dr. John Craft apologizes to parents:
“The assignment does not support nor reflect Killeen ISD’s core values. There is no argument to condone such an offensive gesture, and we deeply regret the assignment was ever created and distributed to even a small group of students,” Craft said.
“The classwork was inappropriate, insensitive, and failed miserably to support our mission.”
Craft said the district will continue to investigate and interview all people “who may have had knowledge of this atrocious matter.”
The superintendent’s letter to parents states, “We regret that this incident occurred, and we are committed to dealing with these type of situations expeditiously.”
Craft said the parents of the students affected by the assignment have been personally contacted by the campus principal.
“It was a seventh grade class ... It was an inclusion type program, a very small group of students who have some special learning requirements,” Craft said, “The teachers were trying to engage in dialogue based on what some individuals referred to as ‘trigger words’ and then it escalated from there, obviously, in the wrong direction.”
When asked to clarify on the teacher’s status, Craft said the teacher was “been separated from the district and is no longer employed by the district.”
“We reiterate that any behavior like this will not be tolerated in Killeen ISD,” Craft said.
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