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Teacher on leave over offensive Trump comment to students

Posted at 9:41 AM, Nov 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-15 09:41:43-05

(WFLA) A teacher is on administrative leave while officials investigate allegations he made an offensive Donald Trump-related statement toward African-American students at Florida's Wesley Chapel High School.

The incident came to light when a parent, Donnie Jones Jr., wrote about it on Facebook.

Jones Jr. said his daughter was in the hallway with several other students when teacher and coach John Sousa asked what they were up to. Jones Jr. said Sousa then made the comment, "Don't make me call Donald Trump to get you sent back to Africa."

Jones Jr. said he quickly went to the school to complain.

The parent of one student took to social media about the incident and complained to the school.

Parents commended the school for its quick action, and school officials say it's unacceptable.

"The school district is very troubled if one of our employees did say what he is accused of saying. We can't stand for that. We expect civility," says Linda Cobbe of Pasco County Schools.

Parent Teddy Velazquez said, "This is the reason why a lot of these things that were going on during the debate have to be addressed and kind of like you know put at ease and put in perspective because people now just can't come out and make comments like that. It's just not right."

School officials say Sousa met with the director of employee relations on Friday to discuss the matter.

Parents say Sousa apologized and called it an "off the wall comment that wasn't meant to be racist."

The school says they are continuing to investigate before deciding if any further action will be taken.