A Florida middle school teacher who allegedly used the n-word and advised students to avoid dating black boys has been suspended without pay for 10 days following an investigation.
Duval County math teacher David Swinyar was suspended without pay from Kernan Middle School after the district found "credible evidence" that he had "engaged in inappropriate communication" with students, including telling students that they "should not be dating all these different African American boys because they are not worth it," the district report states. The alleged incident happened in October 2017.
"If your boyfriend says bad things to you and/or treats you wrong, that means he's acting like a n*****," Swinyar said, according to the report. "You all should not be dating all these different African American boys because they are not worth it."
The board opted to bypass the first two disciplinary steps—a written and verbal warning—and move ahead with the 10-day suspension due to the seriousness of the allegations. It was the teacher's first disciplinary incident, a representative in the district office told Newsweek.
The report, presented during a regularly scheduled board meeting, also found that Swinyar had called his students "dumb," and told them that they ended up in his class because they failed the Florida Standards Assessment, an aptitude test required in the state.
Swinyar was also accused of breaching professional standards by discussing his political affiliations in class, often expressing support for President Donald Trump. When a student called a parent to complain about the remarks, Swinyar allegedly grabbed the phone from the student's hand to prevent the call.
More than two dozen students said they witnessed Swinyar's tangent. The complaint was forwarded to the Office of Equity and Inclusion, where it was then investigated. When confronted with the offensiveness of his alleged behavior, Swinyar apologized and said he "never said that."
A lawyer for the teacher told The Florida Times Union that her client completely denied the remarks and would be appealing the decision.
Reports of teachers using racist epithets in the class are hardly rare. This week, another Florida teacher was "removed from the classroom" pending an investigation after a HuffPost found that she had been hosting a podcast that promoted white supremacy. Earlier this month, a teacher in Kentucky was suspended for referring to a student as a "porch monkey," according to a Fox affiliate. In January, a teacher was filmed shouting racial slurs and said she was too "educated to be racist," the New York Post reported.
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