High school teacher John Sullivan said he wouldn’t teach student illegals, but after push-back from his school, he’s now saying it was all a “misunderstanding.”
Fox News is reporting that the Hawaii high school teacher made known his thoughts on students who have illegally entered the U.S. on Wednesday in an email to faculty at Campbell High School in Ewa Beach on Ohau, where he teaches social studies classes.
That provoked a backlash from other teachers and the principal at the school who lectured Sullivan on how he shouldn’t “discriminate.”
Sullivan sent the email after one of the school’s counselors sent an email that expressed worry about “undocumented” students not coming to classes because they feared being deported.
“This is another attack on the President over deportation,” Sullivan said in the email that was released by Hawaii News Now. “Their parents need to apply for immigration like everyone else. If they are here in the U.S. illegally, I won’t teach them.”
School principal Jon Henry Lee assured local news outlets that Sullivan had been cautioned that the school does not “discriminate against any individuals” and will provide service to every registered student, illegal or not.
Lee even suggested that Sullivan had violated school policy by making a political statement while he utilized the official email.
Sullivan now says the whole controversy was a “misunderstanding” because he only meant that he couldn’t teach students who choose to remain at home.
Despite recanting, the teacher could still face disciplinary action, though the exact nature of that potential punishment is uncertain.
A Department of Education spokesperson said it is for the the school’s principal to decide on how to proceed with Sullivan.
Sullivan’s professional union wasn’t saying much. Corey Rosenlee, president of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, refused to comment on the Sullivan’s predicament but offered, “HSTA strongly believes that every child has the right to an education, regardless of their immigration status.”