District to take action against teacher who allegedly called black students 'rats'

Punishment could be coming for a Florida teacher accused of calling elementary school students "rats" that could "infest the class" and saying "that's why their race is either dead or in jail."

The teacher at Carter G. Woodson Elementary School allegedly made the remarks in May, as a group of children attempted to re-enter her classroom.

Officials found enough evidence to substantiate further action, the district said this week.

Duval County Public Schools said it will "take appropriate action in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement when school resumes for the 2017-2018 school year."

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WJAX pressed to learn what, if any, specific punishment could be coming for the teacher, Jordan Cataldo. DCPS would not confirm the teacher's name.

The school district confirmed that "There was enough evidence reviewed by the district that substantiates further action; however, we cannot elaborate on an action that has yet to be defined."

WJAX looked on the school district's website and found the progressive discipline policy in the collective bargaining agreement. It listed possible punishments, including verbal reprimand, written reprimand, suspension without pay and termination.

Carter G. Woodson parent Tiera Ross outlined Cataldo’s alleged comments 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.

WJAX attempted to get Cataldo’s side of the story Friday, but she declined to comment.

Ross still wants Cataldo fired.

“I’m so infuriated inside that I want to cry, but I’m not,” Ross said. “I’m going to be strong enough for my daughter to make sure that the situation is taken care of.”

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