An Arkansas teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave after she referred to her students as “monkeys” on Facebook, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports.
The Little Rock teacher, whose identity has not been released, wrote on Facebook earlier this week that the “monkeys to my zoo came back today,” an apparent reference to classes resuming on Thursday after winter break.
“I’m tired! It’s difficult to train monkeys again,” the teacher added in the post.
The profile of the Facebook account that created the post is not publicly available, however screenshots appear to confirm the statements made by the Watson Elementary School teacher, according to the newspaper.
School district officials are reportedly investigating the incident.
District spokeswoman Pamela Smith told the Democrat Gazette that the teacher has been put on leave during the probe.
The district issued a written statement saying that it “takes these matters very seriously.”
“As soon as we were made aware of the incident last night, the District immediately began taking appropriate action, per LRSD protocol,” the statement read, which called the inquiry a “personnel matter.”
The statement continued: “Please be assured that it is the commitment of LRSD to provide educational environments that are nurturing, supportive, safe, and conducive to learning.”
Smith said further details could not be released at this time.
In 2016, a high school teacher in Malvern, Arkansas — about 47 miles southwest of Little Rock — was fired for a similar offense. The teacher, Trent Bennett, referred to then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as monkeys and chimps in a Facebook post, according to Mic.com.
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