LANSING, Mich. — Holt Public schools has reassigned one employee, Megan Rodriguez, and terminated another, Sandra Smith, after a month long investigation into a physical altercation between those employees and a group of students.
In a statement sent to Fox 47 shortly after the incident in April, Holt Public Schools said eyewitnesses recall the situation escalating after one staffer and a student called each other racial slurs.
Rodriguez and Smith were both placed on paid administrative leave after the incident while the district investigated. They looked specifically at district policies, the student code of conduct, video footage and interviewed staff and students.
The district's investigation revealed that Smith used "inappropriate communication," though it did not say whether she used a racial slur.
In those documents, the Director of Human Resources Erinn Quinlan said in part, "It was determined that Ms. Smith engaged in misconduct, including inappropriate communication and reactions to students that escalated the incident, instead of seeking assistance or utilizing other means to deescalate the situation."
As a result, Smith was fired earlier this month.
As for Rodriguez, the investigation concluded that, while the way she engaged with the student does not align with district policies, evidence shows that she was trying to break up the altercation.
In an emailed statement, the district said in part, “The District has completed its internal investigation of an April 4 incident at Holt High School. We have communicated to all individuals involved the outcome of the investigation…. In complying with the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Board Policy, the District will not be disclosing any further details about this matter.”
According to the district, Rodriguez is being transferred to a different school and is required to attend crisis prevention training.
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