ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A teacher in the Allentown School District who attended the Washington D.C. protests Wednesday has been temporarily relieved of his duties, according to a district letter to the community.
"Because of the emotion and controversy stirred by the events of January 6, 2021," the teacher has been temporarily relieved of his teaching duties until the district can complete a formal investigation of how he was involved, according to the letter.
Superintendent Thomas Parker says many members of the community were upset by an online image of the teacher at the protest, but he also notes that the district "has an obligation to respect the First Amendment rights" of staff and students.
"The chaos that took place in the nation's capital yesterday was deeply troubling and acknowledge that these actions have caused immense pain in our community," according to the letter.
"It occurred at a time when we are already grappling with the impacts of a global pandemic that has affected the health and livelihood of families throughout our community. Yesterday's events have added to the confusion and uncertainty our students are experiencing during this unprecedented time."
The district asked its staff to think carefully about what they share online and how it could affect their students and fellow community members.
"While we all have the right to express ourselves, it is important to do so respectfully," the district said. "We ask the same of our students and families."