Arbitrator: Penns Grove teacher can't be fired over alleged racial slur

AP News
September 04, 2019 - 12:14 pm

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PENNS GROVE, N.J. (AP) — A state arbitrator has ruled that a southern New Jersey school district cannot fire a tenured middle school teacher who allegedly used a racial slur in class.

The arbitrator found Bruce Bassetti was "muttering to himself" and not addressing students in his seventh grade class.

Bassetti, a 14-year science teacher at Penns Grove Middle School, allegedly used the N-word after he confronted an unruly student in February. Bassetti has denied using the word and noted the student in question was white.

The Penns Grove-Carneys Point Regional School District had voted in April to bring tenure charges against Bassetti. They also sought to suspend him for 120 days without pay and seek his dismissal.

District officials haven't said if they will appeal the arbitrator's finding to the state's education commissioner.

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