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Teacher who allegedly called student ‘Jew boy’ faces discipline

December 6, 2011 |  8:44 am

The La Cañada Unified school board will consider Tuesday disciplinary action against a high school math teacher accused of using offensive language in her classroom.

Gabrielle Leko has already been directed to undergo sensitivity and diversity training as a result of a formal complaint filed against her in June alleging that she addressed a student as "Jew boy," among other offenses. Board members will discuss additional measures during a closed session at their regularly scheduled meeting.

No actions taken by the administration will be made public, Supt. Wendy Sinnette told the La Cañada Valley Sun.

The allegations prompted several parents to criticize the district for not doing enough to address racism and sexism.

At a board meeting earlier this month, parent Debra Archuleta called the school board's actions "somewhat shameful."

"I erroneously assumed that this would be a personnel issue handled at the school level," Archuleta said.

Archuleta's daughter, Alyssa Stolmack, a sophomore at La Cañada High, told the board that Leko insulted students who have speech impediments and targeted Armenians, Korean women and several other groups.

"It was all very atrocious," she said. "The fact that my concerns and the concerns of my peers were not taken seriously ... is very concerning to me and the rest of my peers."

She said other students from her geometry class, in which Leko allegedly addressed a student as "Jew boy," were afraid to speak out because they feared retribution.


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