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‘I Won’t Teach Them’: High School Teacher Stirs Controversy With Email Against Undocumented Immigrants


A public high school teacher has come under fire after a controversial email to coworkers regarding undocumented immigrants. John Sullivan, who teaches social studies at Campbell High School in Hawaii, reportedly told coworkers that he wouldn’t teach students who are in the country illegally, according to Hawaii News Now.

“Their parents need to apply for immigration like anyone else,” Sullivan’s email reportedly said. “If they are here in the U.S. illegally, I won’t teach them.” This was in response to an email about how undocumented immigrant students in other states were being kept home due to fears of deportation.

The school’s principal, Jon Henry Lee, told the local news, “I just reminded him again that we don’t discriminate against any individuals.” In addition to going against the spirit of the school’s policy, Lee said that Sullivan’s email broke the school’s rule against sharing political opinions in the department’s email system. It remains to be seen what disciplinary action Sullivan will face.

Sullivan tried to explain that his remarks were taken out of context. He told Hawaii News Now that all he meant was that if students are kept at home, he can’t teach them.

[Image via screengrab]

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