New Jersey Students Stage Walkout in Support of Teacher

Four students at a New Jersey high school were suspended after 200 staged a walkout to protest the school’s decision to withdraw an offer of tenure to a popular teacher who had objected to anti-gay slurs in her classroom. Cheryl Bachmann reportedly fought to have one of the students who had made a slur permanently removed after the student “was heard screaming in the high school’s hallways, using expletives and threatening to stab Bachmann.”

West_milfordAccording to The Record, “Students planned the protest after learning Bachmann was told in late April she probably will not be offered tenure. This decision followed an initial indication in March that Bachmann would be asked to remain at the high school. During the month in between, Bachmann had asked two students to leave her class on two separate occasions after she said they both used a derogatory word for a homosexual. According to her, one of the students hit her in the head with a rolled-up gum wrapper on his way out and the female student later threatened to stab Bachmann.”

Although the incidents appeared to have some connection with the school’s withdrawal of their tenure offer, according to the paper, “administrators say they can’t speak about individual teachers or students, but a memo obtained by The Record said there were ‘serious concerns about her classroom management and ability to effectively control and tolerate unacceptable behavior.'” The students who were suspended on Tuesday, according to a school official “used profanity, were climbing on each other’s shoulders and out of control” during the walkout.