A teacher whose comments caused dozens of Fulmore Middle School students to walk out of their classrooms as a protest last month will not be returning to the school, the school’s principal says.
“A decision has been made regarding the teacher’s employment at Fulmore,” Principal Lisa Bush wrote in a letter to parents. “Our teacher will not be returning to our school. The Austin ISD Human Resource Department will continue to meticulously review this matter in order to make further employment decisions.”
Austin school district officials said the teacher is still on administrative leave, but they did not say when her leave will end.
The district has declined to release the teacher’s name, but officials with knowledge of the incident that led to the walkout, as well as several parents and students, identified the teacher as Terri Reuwsaat.
One student who was in the class when Reuwsaat reportedly made the comments gave this account of what happened:
The teacher was trying to give an assignment to a male student who struggles with English and was speaking Spanish to a classmate. The boy didn’t seem to understand what she was saying or the assignment. The teacher seemed to think he was pretending that he didn’t understand, and she told him that if he was going to refuse to learn English, he could go back to Mexico.
The student protest happened Nov. 15, about two weeks after the teacher made the comments. It is unclear whether school officials took action immediately after the incident, but the teacher was placed on administrative leave shortly after the walkout.