HONOLULU — An Ewa Beach, Hawaii, high school teacher has been disciplined after he wrote in a staff-wide email that he would not teach undocumented immigrant students.
Campbell High School teacher John Sullivan on Wednesday used his work email to reply to a group of messages about parents keeping students from school due to fears of being deported, according to NBC affiliate Hawaii News Now. In his email, he expressed support for President Donald Trump and said parents who kept their students home are attacking the Trump administration.
"This is another attack on the President over deportation. Their parents need to apply for immigration like everyone else. If they are here in the US illegally, I won't teach them," a copy of the email obtained by Hawaii News Now reads.
Hours after the teacher sent the message, Campbell Principal Jon Henry Lee emailed faculty and staff to ask them not to use the school's email system to express political opinions. He also reminded faculty that the Department of Education's Code of Conduct prohibits teachers from discriminating against student based on their nation of origin.
Sullivan told Hawaii News Now in an email Wednesday that the situation was a "misunderstanding." "My comment in the email refers to (the email's title) if students is (sic) kept home, teachers cannot teach them," he wrote.
Prior to meeting with Sullivan Wednesday, Lee told Hawaii News Now that he would reiterate to Sullivan that Campbell High School will serve all registered students.
"I just reminded him again that we don't discriminate against any individuals," Lee said, referencing the Department of Education's Code of Conduct. "We're going to service all students that are registered in our school."