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April 22, 2010 5:13 am

PHS classroom controversy resolved

Written by Tribune Staff

A controversy concerning a classroom incident at Powell High School that prompted a parent's call to Rush Limbaugh last week has been resolved by the parties involved.

Park County School District No. 1 Superintendent Kevin Mitchell said he met with the teacher, the parent and the student involved following an investigation into the incident, and they agreed that the incident was closed.

“As far as (the mother) is concerned and I'm concerned, it's all over,” Mitchell said.

The incident began with a class discussion of the TEA Party movement.

After the class ended, one student called his mother to report what he had heard. The mother then called media personality Rush Limbaugh's radio show and reported that the teacher had made disparaging remarks about the demographics of the group that dominates the TEA Party movement. Further, she accused the teacher of stating that “this country will be better off when the old people are gone.”

Mitchell said he received statements from 12-14 members of the class who were interviewed by PHS principal Bill Schwan, who investigated the incident prior to the conference. A statement released following that conference reported that members of the class “were left with a variety of interpretations of the entire discussion.”

The statement further reported that there was “no intent on the part of the teacher to disrespect any group,” and that the statements called into the radio show were not accurate.

“The exact words on the Rush Limbaugh radio show were not the exact words of the teacher,” the release said.

Mitchell added that, while the comment implying the old people should die may have been said by someone in the class, it was not the teacher.

“All of the parties involved have discussed this issue and agree that the topic could have been handled differently,” according to the release.

There was no further comment from the parties involved, and no further action will be taken by the district.