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Vt. teacher files racial discrimination lawsuit against school, district

Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:13 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 6:31 PM EDT
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BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A former Bennington teacher has filed a lawsuit against her district, claiming she was wrongfully let go and racially discriminated against.

Rosa Van Wie is multiracial and taught fourth and fifth grade for two years at the Molly Stark Elementary School in Bennington.

Van Wie says she had three students with behavioral issues, two white boys and one Black boy.

Van Wie says the school resource officer would engage more with the Black student when the boys were walking down the hallway.

She also claims the officer would only check in with the Black student in the cafeteria and the school resource center.

“The school resource officer came and sat at the table as we processed with the Black student and then walked him with the behavior interventionist out of the room and did not stay and process with the exact same behavior with the white student,” Van Wie said.

Van Wie says she talked to the SRO about her concerns and was fired 19 days later.

I reached out to Superintendent James Cullkeen for a response to the lawsuit. He said, “The District will vigorously defend itself against these unfounded allegations. I would note that many of the allegations are not based upon fact, they are Ms. Van Wie’s perceptions of what she believes occurred.”

Van Wie is hoping for two things to come out of the lawsuit. She wants the school resource officers removed and scholarships for students of color.

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