Education

Cedar Rapids Teacher: 'misunderstanding' over use of black baby doll should not have resulted in firing

Facing firing, Metro teacher requests Cedar Rapids school board hearing

The new Educational Leadership and Support Center for the Cedar Rapids Community School District at 2500 Edgewood Road NW.  (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
The new Educational Leadership and Support Center for the Cedar Rapids Community School District at 2500 Edgewood Road NW. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Tammy Ryan, the high school teacher the Cedar Rapids school district says inappropriately used a black baby doll in her classroom, said in a statement Thursday the incident was “a simple misunderstanding” that she shouldn’t be fired over.

The Metro alternative schoolteacher was recommended for termination at Monday’s school board meeting.

In her statement, Ryan said she has requested a private hearing with the school board.

“I await the opportunity for the School Board to consider my entire professional record, which has been unblemished to date,” she said in the statement.

Ryan has the right to request the hearing, according to the district.

Neither Ryan nor the school district has provided details about what happened with the doll in Ryan’s classroom.

The district has said an internal investigation found Ryan to be a poor role model, that she was unprofessional and used inappropriate teaching methods.

“I have been teaching in Iowa’s public schools for more than 26 years, many of which have been in alternative classroom settings,” she said. “I care deeply about my students and their learning environment. I strive every day to be a trusted leader and good role model for each and every student who walks through my classroom door. I am deeply hurt by the possibility than an event in my classroom could have been taken in a negative manner.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8330; molly.duffy@thegazette.com

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