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Teacher quits after racial comment controversy

Forest City school board accepted her resignation Friday.

Posted: Dec. 8, 2017 12:38 PM
Updated: Dec. 9, 2017 12:51 PM

FOREST CITY, Iowa – The teacher caught up in a national controversy over racial comments has resigned.

At a special meeting Friday, the Forest City Board of Education accepted the resignation of 3rd grade teacher Holly Jane Kusserow-Smidt. She submitted her letter of resignation on Thursday and it is effective immediately.

The Board also voted to pay Kusserow-Smidt her full salary through February 23 and grant her early retirement. In return, she agreed to release the school district from any legal challenge.

Kusserow-Smidt was heard during online video coverage of a basketball game between Forest City and Eagle Grove on November 28. Kusserow-Smidt, a board operator, and KIOW radio broadcaster Orin Harris made comments about the names of Eagle Grove high school players and their ethnic background. Harris, at one point, says “As (President Trump) would say, go back where they came from.”

When the comments became public, Harris was fired from KIOW after working there for more than 40 years. Kusserow-Smidt was also fired from the radio station and placed on administrative leave by the Forest City school district.

For previous coverage of this story, click here or here or here.

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