A California teacher who was caught on video berating students over their parents’ distance-learning complaints during a Zoom class has been placed on administrative leave.
San Marcos High School teacher Alissa Piro was seen on video lambasting the juniors while they appeared to be discussing a dispute over distance learning.
“I am so sick to my stomach of parents trying to tell educators how to do their job,” Piro shouted in the video, which was posted to Twitter by a group called Reopen California Schools.
The district announced that Piro has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation, Fox News reported.
In a statement, it said school officials were “deeply concerned” about Piro’s behavior, but vowed to uphold her “due process and privacy rights.”
The teacher also exploded on one student who called for a “white student union.”
“You don’t need a white student union, Jace. You get everything,” Piro tells him.
The student — identified by Fox News as Jace Jonas — said her outburst was triggered by a question he wrote in the Zoom chat box after the school announced the creation of an Asian student union.
“I wanted to make a comment in the Zoom text box, not disrupting the class,” Jace told Fox News.
“I commented, ‘Why do some races get student unions but others do not?’ We should have a student union for all races or no races for true equality,” he said.
“She started berating me about how as a white male I get everything and it’s my duty to look out for minorities and all these racist remarks against Whites and males. She later called me a moron,” Jace added.
Some students have sent the student hate messages for his remark, according to Fox News.
Jace and his dad, Jim Jonas, informed Assistant Principal Kelley Brown of the troubling exchange, the news outlet reported.
“I don’t know what school she got her degree at, but maybe she can get her money back,” said the elder Jonas, who described Piro as “unhinged.”
Jace — who was was allowed to skip Piro’s class for five days — and his father sat down with the teacher and Principal Adam Dawson for a “restorative meeting” during which he said Piro apologized.
And yet, Jim said he was surprised that his son’s grade in the class had dropped weeks later.
“Jace was getting straight As in school. After that incident, he had a B in that class,” he recalled.
Piro later corrected the grade after blaming it on a computer error, according to Fox News.
One mother told the network that her daughter received the video from a friend.
“Because of our history with this teacher, I knew I needed to speak out with the abuse and bullying and frankly racism that I saw on that video,” the woman told Fox News.
“The saddest thing to me is that she created an environment in that Zoom classroom for some of the other students to comment mean things,” she added.
A former student said that Piro also would regularly demean students who expressed political viewpoints that differed from her own.
“She’s a good teacher when she’s teaching but these rants aren’t new,” she told Fox News.
“I knew I had to change my political views just to please her and get a passing grade,” she said. “She’d either yell or fail you, or make us feel small for what we believe in.”