A New Jersey teacher is facing criticism after making a racist and offensive comment on social media about the family of missing 5-year-old Dulce Alavez.
Jennifer Hewitt Bishop, an in-class resource teacher with the Vineland Public School District, reportedly made a comment about the missing child’s family in a Facebook discussion about the case, according to NJ.com.
The comment was made after some on the social media site had questioned why the young girl’s mother had been sitting in a parked car at a Bridgeton park when she disappeared from the playground.
“They’re Mexican, it’s their culture. They don’t supervise their children like we do,” Bishop allegedly commented.
Alavez disappeared Sept. 16 after she had been playing at the city park with her 3-year-old brother. Her mother had reportedly been sitting in a car about 30 yards away from the playground with another family member when her son ran back to the car crying because he couldn’t find his sister.
Authorities are still searching for the missing kindergartener.
After learning of the comments allegedly made by Bishop on Friday, the Vineland Public School District pulled her from the classroom and is considering further disciplinary action, the Vineland Daily Journal reports.
“At about midday on Friday, September 20, the district became aware of an offensive, inflammatory, and entirely unacceptable social media post allegedly made by an employee of Vineland Public Schools who was participating in an online conversation about the missing child in Bridgeton,” Joe Rossi, the school district’s executive director of personnel, told the local paper.
Rossi said after administrators confirmed the post had been made by a district teacher, “appropriate action was taken.”
The district’s school board personnel committee planned to discuss the comments at their meeting Wednesday. It’s not known what, if any, conclusions the committee made after that meeting.
Rossi declined to say whether Bishop had been suspended or placed on leave during the investigation, but did confirm to NJ.com that she was “not in the classroom” currently.
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