Seattle Public Schools is disciplining a Center School teacher — whose race and social-issues class caused controversy earlier this year — by transferring him to Hamilton International Middle School.
The disciplinary action is not related to a complaint made earlier this year by a student in Jon Greenberg’s race and social-issues class. The complaint said Greenberg’s class fostered an intimidating educational environment, according to Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Wippel.
The disciplinary action was made in regard to a second complaint, in which the same student objected to the circulation in class of a petition that supported Greenberg’s teaching style, an open discussion method called Courageous Conversations.
The student who had complained about the class was present while the petition was being passed around and felt it was being done in retaliation for the complaint.
Many of those students backing Greenberg will be at a Seattle Public Schools board meeting this afternoon to show they want him to continue teaching the class, which he’s taught at their school for 10 years without any other complaints. One of them says the second complaint is invalid because Greenberg was not purposefully retaliating against the student who objected to the class.
“They claimed that Jon Greenberg had prompted the students to fight the curriculum suspension and review,” said student Zak Meyer. “This was not the case. The concerned students of the Center School put up the petition and contacted the press on their own.”
Wippel said the district may release more information about the investigation in the future, but would not elaborate Wednesday about the district’s decision to transfer Greenberg.