Jacksonville teacher accused of calling black students 'rats' resigns

Updated:

A Jacksonville teacher who was accused of calling black students "rats" resigned on Monday, according to officials.

Carter G. Woodson third grade teacher Jordan Cataldo resigned her position with the district Sept. 25, according to a district spokesperson.

The Duval County Public Schools teacher was accused of calling elementary school students "rats" that could "infest the class."

A parent says she also said, "that’s why their race is either dead or in jail."

Duval County Public Schools launched an investigation and district officials found enough evidence to substantiate further action, the district said.

Carter G. Woodson parent Tiera Ross outlined Cataldo’s alleged comments on Action News Jax back in May.

“They're only going to amount to be a bunch of ratchet Walmart workers, and also saying that that's why their race is either dead or in jail,” Ross said.

The district said there was sufficient evidence to support that Cataldo made inappropriate comments in the context of her response to what appeared to be disruptive behavior by students.

Cataldo admitted that she referred to rats who are contagious and can infect other students, according to an investigative report.

There  was no evidence to support that Cataldo made reference to race, or other comments as asserted by the parent, according to the report.

The investigation found that Cataldo violated district policies and principles of professional conduct.

6A-10.081(1)(c) – Aware of the importance of maintaining the respect and confidence of one’s colleagues, of students, of parents, and of other members of the community, the educator strives to achieve and sustain the highest degree of ethical conduct. 

6A-10.081(2)(a)(1) – Shall make reasonable effort to protect the student from conditions harmful to learning and/or to the student’s mental and/or physical health and/or safety. 

6A-10.081(2)(a)(5) – Shall not intentionally expose a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement. 

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