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Jamaica teacher accused of racist comments reassigned

The teacher allegedly made the remarks back on Nov. 22 in front of the entire class."(He) was reassigned to administrative duty pending the outcome of investigations into the allegation that he used inappropriate language in front of students," said Principal Diahann Malcolm. She said she could not release the teacher's name until the investigation by the city Department of Education is completed.The teacher is currently at the administrative office and has been temporarily removed from the school, Malcolm said.Esther Wiggins of Cambria Heights, the ninth-grader's mother, said the teacher called her daughter "a fat b----, a n----- and asserted that she "is spoiled and from the gutter."Wiggins, who is on the executive board of the Cambria Heights Civic Association, said her daughter then told the teacher that she wanted to speak to the principal and that he would have to deal with her mother. She said her daughter's classmates went to their next class and informed that teacher about what the American history teacher allegedly had said.The United Federation of Teachers District 29 representative for high schools could not be reached for comment on the allegations.Wiggins also claimed that one of the school's assistant principals came into the American history teacher's class to inform students there was going to be a shelter drill. When the assistant principal left the room, Wiggins said her daughter told her the teacher said "let them burn," referring to blacks.The 14-year-old girl did not want to be publicly identified."In 2005, my child should not be dealing with those slanderous names my great-great grandmother had to deal with and it will not be tolerated," Wiggins said in a phone interview late last year. "I am hurt because he hurt my child and showed a lack of concern for other African-American children and others in the building."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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