Substitute Teacher Resigns After Yelling Racial Slurs

  • A substitute teacher in Florida resigned after it was reported that she was yelling racial slurs in the classroom.
  • Karen Boettge, 59, stepped down earlier this week, a Pinellas County schools spokesperson told the Tampa Bay Times. 
  • The substitute was teaching at the Lealman Innovation Academy, which has a majority of Black students. 

A substitute teacher stepped down from her job amid a pending investigation after she yelled racial slurs at a Florida school where the majority of students are Black, the Tampa Bay Times reported. 

According to the students at Lealman Innovation Academy located in St. Peterburg, the teacher —identified as 59-year-old Karen Boettge — made the comment during class on Wednesday, the outlet reported.

The report did not identify the nature of the slur. Insider was unable to contact Boettge, who did not return the Tampa Bay Times’ phone calls.

Pinellas County Schools did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment. 

A representative for the school system told the Times that Boettge repeated the word while in the principal office. The school’s principal, Connisheia Garcia, and about 75% of the students at the school are Black, according to the report.

Garcia reported Boettge, who was hired as a substitute teacher in the district in July last year, to human resources, and she was immediately placed on the “do-not-use list,” the report said.

The spokesperson said officials were “setting up a time to review” what happened, however, “before they could set a date, she resigned.”

Bottege had worked at multiple schools in the district prior to the complaint without any incident, the spokesperson said. The Times reported that the school district was not given a reason for Bottege’s behavior. 

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