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Investigation into Azusa High teacher's Facebook posts

April 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Susan Graham, an advanced placement English teacher, is a longtime veteran of the Azusa Unified School District. But you won't find her in her Azusa High School classroom this week.

District officials are investigating Graham and have placed her on administrative leave for allegedly posting some controversial statements on Facebook.

"There were some comments that were inappropriate language," said Azusa School Superintendent Cynthia Cervantes-McGuire. "Some foul language and just some references to drugs and those kinds of things."

The comments refer to a student trip to London planned for next week. Graham was slated to travel as a chaperone, but has since been replaced.

"She's such a fun person," said Azusa High School student Alexis Arnold. "And we're going to be bummed without her."

Graham's students are quick to dismiss the Facebook postings, which have been pulled from the site. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported that Graham posted, "For the next 40 days, I will be giving up heroin - in all its forms."

"If someone actually did heroin, do you honestly think someone would publicly and openly state, 'I did this and I'm stopping it,'" said student Daniel Costa who is going on the trip to London.

On the subject of the school trip, the Tribune said Graham posted, "I'm going to see London, I'm going to see France and I'm going to find out the color of all y'alls underpants."

"It's a funny saying," said Student Body President Edwin Carmona-Cruz. "Like 'I see London, I see France, I see your underpants.' I thought it was funny too."

And about student drinking, the Tribune said Graham posted, "I am so excited - my 15 year old informs me you only have to be 16 to drink in England, but someone 18 must purchase it for you."

"I don't get where parents were saying that she was going to let us drink," said Arnold. "She was saying they are able to drink. It's legal there. That's the only thing that she said about the drinking."

Arnold is one of the 17 Azusa High students headed to London next week. Even her mother said the Facebook controversy has been blown out of proportion.

"We've seen only bits and pieces of the Facebook," said mother Jennifer Arnold. "We don't see the posts before and after. The kids were excited she was going with them, and now they're bummed. So it's kind of upsetting."

Graham was unable to be reached for comment. The school said the trip will proceed, and that the assistant principal will be taking Graham's spot as a chaperon.


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