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District moves to dismiss Westminster teacher after alleged comment targeting special needs students

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Posted at 7:00 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 09:00:18-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. —Westminster Public Schools is in the process of firing a teacher after he allegedly posted a derogatory statement on Facebook targeting special needs students.

Peter Mandell is accused posting the comment on a discussion board on a group Facebook page called Flip the Budget - DPS Community Board.

A screenshot of Mandell’s comment shows the group was discussing special needs students and whether or not it would be safe for them to return to the classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The comment reads in part, “They were retarded before Covid they’ll still be retarded after.” It continues, “Sorry you f—ked got pregnant had a retarded kid. Your problem not mine. And yes I’m a f—king teacher.”

On Monday, the district was made aware of the comments and began a dismissal process.

“Those statements, we are immediately acting on. We’ve investigated. We are now moving forward with preparing dismissal charges,” said Westminster Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Pamela Swanson in a video statement.

The district posted a statement on their Facebook page, condemning the comments.

“Westminster Public Schools has been made aware of some offensive comments that have been attributed to one of our teachers. The remarks in no way reflect the views of WPS and the incident is being investigated,” the statement read.

Denver7 reached out to Mandell, but he declined our requests for an interview.