A high school teacher who was under investigation for his controversial lesson plans about COVID-19 and the 2020 presidential election has been reinstated, reports WISN.
Several parents filed complaints against Jeff Taff, who in one instance assigned students to investigate conspiracy theories related to the pandemic and provide evidence supporting and refuting the ideas.
He also posted about election integrity to his students in Google Classroom while attending the Jan. 6 riot in Washington, D.C.
"The investigator concluded that the teacher did not violate board policies or state and federal laws as it pertains to any alleged discrimination,'' the Burlington Area School District said in a statement.
"Further, there is no evidence that the teacher engaged in any unlawful activity on January 6, 2021, while in Washington, D.C."
The district met with Taff to "discuss the recommendations offered in the report and reiterate expectations moving forward'' and said the social studies teacher will "participate in professional development related to culturally responsive education" and "meet with district administrators to discuss expectations for curriculum and the discussion of controversial topics."
Auriel Rene, whose daughter’s boyfriend had Taff as a teacher, told WISN, ''the way they described it is 'cringey.' Like not necessarily the best way to discuss something or uncomfortable to hear.
"Given the number of former students that came forward to talk about things in his class, it just seems wrong that they were all like, 'Oh no, we’re all good, he didn’t violate any sort of policy,'" Rene said. "Are they going to send him to what, a 30-hour online class and give him a nonexistent slap on the wrist and he's been on paid vacation this entire time?"
Taff told the Wisconsin State Journal he looks forward to returning and that he will ''think twice'' about raising certain topics, including issues that could offend people of color.
''I’ll definitely keep those perspectives in mind,'' he said. ''I’m glad to be going back.
''It feels great to be vindicated.''
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