A Virginia elementary school teacher told her students that “Republicans are stupid” and “they don’t care about anyone but wealthy people and businesses.”
Kristin Martin said this to her 6th grade class as Republican voters were filing into the halls of Powell Elementary School in Fairfax County to vote on Super Tuesday.
“It all started when this disabled kid came in and named all the Republicans candidates for Super Tuesday,” one student told The Daily Caller. “She [Martin] said to him, ‘I don’t like them, I think that they are stupid.’”
Martin’s statements were “brainwashing” students, according to one mother, who said she is a Republican and asked not to be named to protect her daughter from retaliation.
“I felt like the teacher was brainwashing naive, young children to believe people like me, my family and, to a certain extent, my daughter, were stupid,” she told TheDC via email.
The mother came forward with her daughter’s story after TheDC first reported on another Fairfax County teacher who instructed his students to conduct opposition research on Republican candidates for president. (RELATED: Va. middle-schoolers assigned opposition research on GOP candidates)
Additionally, her daughter relayed that Martin told the classroom that she had voted for Obama and that “Democrats do more for the community and schools.”
When she heard about the teacher’s remarks, the frustrated mother immediately contacted Linda Clifford, the school principal.
Clifford responded with an apology.
“I am so sorry that Miss Martin used such very poor judgment,” she replied via email. “I will certainly address it with her tomorrow.”
“I share your assessment of the situation that there is no room for that kind of comment in a school setting,” she continued. “Thank you so much for bringing this serious situation to my attention.”
The concerned 6th grader told TheDC that many students were stunned that their teacher would voice such strong political opinions.
“My reactions were shocked. I think her political views should not be shared with 11 and 12 year olds,” she said. “It was hard for me to understand. I was still in so much shock.”
The student told TheDC that Martin apologized the next day.
“I am sorry about what I said about the different parties,” Martin allegedly told students. “I am deeply sorry if I offended you in any way. I realized what I said about Republicans was wrong and I shouldn’t have shared that with you guys.”
John Torre, a spokesman for the Fairfax County School System, said that the school board did look into the matter but was unable to reach a conclusion.
“The district has looked into the alleged statements and could not reach any conclusive findings,” Torre told TheDC in an email. “There was an informal discussion about politics between the teacher and students that was not a part of any classroom lesson. There are differing accounts of what may or may not have been said by the participants.”
The county school superintendent’s office later sent all principals a reminder about policies “that regulate employee political activities and the presentation of controversial issues in the classroom.” The principals distributed that information to their teachers.
Martin did not respond to TheDC’s request for comment.