A Fulmore Middle School teacher has been placed on administrative leave after students staged a walkout protest due to an "insensitive statement" the teacher made toward a student, school officials announced Wednesday.
Principal Lisa A. Bush said the teacher initially made the statement toward a student who responded to her in Spanish.
"Comments such as the one she made are not tolerated, and we addressed it with her and with her students immediately," Bush said in a letter to parents.
She wrote that on Wednesday, several students staged a walkout from the class in a protest related to this issue and that additional Austin ISD officers were sent to the campus to assist with the mostly peaceful protest that lasted about 40 minutes.
Twitter user @MarissaElayne tweeted a video of the protest. She said the teacher told the Spanish-speaking student to "go back to Mexico."
Later, she said students walked through the halls, chanting, "Say it loud. Say it clear. Refugees are welcome here!"
Bush said that after the initial comment from the teacher, the school's counseling and administrative teams worked with Austin ISD's Department of Social and Emotional Learning to engage students in conversation facilitated by a district SEL coordinator or a Fulmore counselor.
The initial incident is being investigated by AISD staff, Bush said.