Teacher accused of making hurtful remarks towards students

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence teacher has been placed on administrative leave, accused of making insensitive and possibly threatening remarks towards students.

Christina O’Reilly, a spokesperson for Providence schools, said the department is conducting a full human resources investigation into the Gilbert Stuart Middle School teacher’s actions.

According to O’Reilly, the school is looking into allegations the teacher made hurtful remarks against multiple students in the classroom, but would not provide any specifics.

Parents planned to protest the teacher’s return to work on Friday, but canceled after learning the teacher was placed on leave. PTA President Leilani Holmes said the teacher called students names such as “ugly” and “disgusting,” and at one point threatened to stab a student with a knife, but O’Reilly said there’s nothing in their human resources records to confirm that.

“We’re happy that the children are not going to feel like they’re further tortured and belittled in the classroom,” said Holmes. “We are satisfied for the children’s safety at this point. Our number one goal is to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

The Providence School Department released a statement Friday, saying:

All students must be assured a learning environment that is safe and caring, and verbal mistreatment of students is unacceptable. Providence Schools is conducting a full investigation to determine what has occurred in this classroom and whether disciplinary action is warranted. The teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.”

O’Reilly said the department is looking into whether any disciplinary action is necessary.

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