School district puts Burlington HS teacher on leave after learning they traveled to DC day of riot

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BURLINGTON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A teacher with the Burlington Area School District has been placed on administrative leave after the district learned the employee traveled to Washington, D.C. the day the riot took place at the U.S. Capitol. The school district says the teacher used his personal time off to go to D.C and his trip had nothing to do with his duties as a teacher.

“My son just told me there was something strange on his Google Classroom and asked if I would look at it," Paula Wilson said. 

It was a note from her son’s teacher at Burlington High School.

The teacher said he’s heading to Washington D.C. this week and “standing up for election integrity and their right to vote in fair elections.”

“When he showed me that, that was the day of the riot in Washington D.C,. so we put two and two together, "Wilson said.

Parents say this wasn’t the first time the teacher shared his opinion with students.

“He posted around election time that was a video from a right wing conservative website that was Rudy Giuliani -- how there were 650 thousand illegal votes and the election was a fraud," she said.

“His job is to show both sides of a situation and promote respect and discourse about that and critical thinking for kids. He didn’t do that, he showed one side, his opinion and he’s done that throughout the year.”

CBS 58 is not naming the teacher in question until the district confirms. We did reach out to the teacher for comment, but have not heard back.

A statement from the district says in part, "On January 6, 2021, many of us were stunned by the events at our nation’s capital. The Burlington Area School District condemns the actions that took place in the United States Capitol. We also wish to express our gratitude to those who maintained public safety and express our sympathy to the families of people who were injured or lost their lives." 

Burlington Area School District said they have not yet spoke with the teacher, but the details will be investigated in totality.  

"As an institution, the Burlington Area School District does not agree with the violence and criminal activity in Washington D.C. In a time that has no precedent, we recognize that within our district, we have varying perspectives. We feel urgency in embracing our entire community of learners as we seek to explore diverse ideas without bias."

Read the full release from the district below:

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