Westminster teacher under investigation after Facebook comment about students with learning disabilities

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) – A Westminster teacher is being investigated by the district after apparently using disparaging language online.

A screengrab from a Facebook post about students with learning disabilities shows a comment from Peter Mandell saying in part, “They were retarded before Covid and will be retarded after.”

FOX31 has confirmed that Mandell is a kindergarten teacher at Skyline Vista Elementary School.

“Let’s just keep these kids at home and when this passes they can come back to school. Do you really think they’ll be any different after a year of staying home with their parents? Sounds like someone doesn’t want to deal with their special needs kid,” the comment said. “Your problem, not mine.”

Mandell denied writing the comment and said that his Facebook account was hacked.

Westminster Public Schools told FOX31 that it is investigating and will seek dismissal charges against Mandell.

“The remarks in no way reflect the views of WPS and the incident is being investigated,” a post from the district on Facebook said.

The Colorado Department of Education sent FOX31 the following statement:

“CDE has been made aware of this incident that happened over the weekend. CDE has been in contact with the district and are deferring to the district investigation at this time to determine the facts of the situation. When the district is completed with their investigation, and, if the allegations turn out to be true, CDE will take appropriate action.”

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