A South Jersey school district filed tenure charges against a teacher who allegedly used a racial epithet during a science class.
According to the statement of tenure charges obtained by NJ Advance Media, the Penns Grove-Carneys Point Regional School District brought tenure charges against Bruce Bassetti, a science teacher who taught at Penns Grove Middle School.
According to the charges, Bassetti was teaching a seventh-grade science class Feb. 27 when he allegedly told students “I’m not trying to deal with these n*****” as he was walking away from a group of students who were being disruptive in class.
Students who were in the classroom went to the assistant principal’s office to report the alleged incident. Four students, three of which said he used the n-word and another saying he used “a bad word,” wrote statements stating they heard Bassetti speak the racist language.
Once the student interviews were completed, the assistant principal and principal met with Bassetti to discuss the allegations. The charges allege Bassetti asked who the students were that were accusing him of the improper conduct. Upon hearing the names, Bassetti allegedly stated he “couldn’t have called him that because he is white,” referring to one of the students, according to the tenure charges.
The assistant principal said the answer was “offensive in its own merits,” ended the meeting, and asked the teacher to write a statement. In Bassetti’s statement, he said he asked a student to bring a Chromebook to a desk, and the student replied by saying “Are you lazy come get it yourself.” Bassetti added he did not make any comments after the student’s remark.
The next day, on Feb. 28, the science instructor was suspended with pay pending the conclusion of the investigation. The district’s affirmative action officer reviewed the students’ statements, Bassetti’s account, and the comments said to the assistant principal and principal and decided the science teacher violated the district’s Affirmative Action policies because of the alleged use of the n-word and allegedly insinuating how he did not use the word.
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