A California educator who was caught on video berating students over their parents’ distance-learning complaints has been placed on administrative leave.
San Marcos High School teacher Alissa Piro was seen on video lambasting the juniors while they appeared to be discussing a dispute over distance learning.
“I am so sick to my stomach of parents trying to tell educators how to do their job,” Piro shouted in the video, which was posted to Twitter by a group called Reopen California Schools.
The district announced that Piro has been put on administrative leave pending an investigation, Fox News reported.
In a statement, the district said school officials were “deeply concerned” about Piro’s behavior, but vowed to uphold her “due process and privacy rights.”
Following the revelations, a number of high school students spoke out on Monday after the video went viral.
Piro was heard in another video shared on social media aggressively yelling at a student who asked about a possible “White student union.” She reportedly told the pupil: “You don’t need a White student union, Jace. You get everything.” Now, new allegations are coming up against her.
The student, Jace Jonas, said Piro’s reaction came after he wrote a question in the Zoom chat box following the announcement of an Asian student union at the school. “I wanted to make a comment in the Zoom text box, not disrupting the class. I commented ‘why do some races get student unions but others do not?’ We should have a student union for all races or no races for true equality,” Jonas told Fox News.
Visibly frustrated with Jonas, Piro paused her lesson before shouting “Goddammnit” in front of the entire class. “She started berating me about how as a White male I get everything and it’s my duty to look out for minorities and all these racist remarks against Whites and males. She later called me a moron,” he told the outlet.
Piro’s outburst reportedly created a wedge between students, some of whom attacked Jonas with hate-filled messages over his inquiry. “My daughter’s friend had sent the recorded video to her the morning it happened and she showed it to me. Because of our history with this teacher, I knew I needed to speak out with the abuse and bullying and frankly racism that I saw on that video,” one mother told Fox News on condition of anonymity. “The saddest thing to me is that she created an environment in that Zoom classroom for some of the other students to comment mean things…”
Jace Jonas and his father Jim Jonas immediately informed assistant principal Kelley Brown about the exchange. The parent described the educator as “unhinged.” He added: “I don’t know what school she got her degree at, but maybe she can get her money back.”
Jim Jonas would soon find that his son’s grade in Piro’s class had dropped considerably just weeks after the incident. “Jace was getting straight A’s in school. After that incident he had a B in that class,” Jim recalled. At that time, Piro blamed it to a computer error and corrected it. Piro would allegedly regularly denigrate teenagers who voiced political views different from her own, a former student told Fox News. “She’s a good teacher when she’s teaching but these rants aren’t new,” she said.
The student reportedly remembered being afraid to participate in Piro’s class, a complaint reiterated by more than three students who spoke to Fox. According to the pupil, most of her classmates knew they had to align their political views with that of Piro to pass the course, or risk failing and being belittled before their classmates. “I knew I had to change my political views just to please her and get a passing grade” she told Fox News. “She’d either yell or fail you, or make us feel small for what we believe in.”