- Katie Hall American-Statesman Staff
4 p.m. update: Several students who walked out of Fulmore Middle School on Wednesday told the American-Statesman they were protesting because a teacher in a Social and Emotional Learning class told a student, who was speaking Spanish at the time, to “go back to Mexico.”
The teacher said this about two weeks ago, according to students who were in her classroom at the time, and some Fulmore students felt that administrators did not adequately address what this teacher said.
In a letter to the school’s community, Fulmore Principal Lisa Bush acknowledged that “an adult staff member made an insensitive statement to a student. Comments such as that are not tolerated at any level and appropriate actions were taken.”
Bush’s letter did not specify what was said nor what action was taken.
Multiple students said that the school building was damaged during the protest. Students mentioned a window was broken, part of a fence was knocked down and a ceiling tile in a hallway was punched.
At least one school board member commented on the situation.
“I am confident the superintendent and his team are gathering the facts and responding appropriately,” said school board member Geronimo Rodriguez, who represents South Austin. “I expect a quick response. This is a teachable moment for our diverse community regarding our culture of treating people with dignity and respect.”
Earlier: A group of students walked out of the Fulmore Middle School building as part of a protest Wednesday, according to school officials.
It was not immediately clear what the students were protesting. School officials said students are now back in their classrooms.
Further details were not immediately available. This is a developing story; check back for details.