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Teacher at center of Halloween incident no longer with APS

A “short-term win.”

That’s what Shannon Johnson called Albuquerque Public Schools’ Monday night announcement that “the employment relationship between APS and the teacher involved in the incident at Cibola High School was severed.”

Johnson’s daughter McKenzie, who is Navajo, said she was called a “bloody Indian” on Halloween by the teacher; the 17-year-old was actually dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, with a paw mark on her face, Johnson previously told the Journal. Another Native American student said the teacher cut her braid in class that day, too.

APS spokeswoman Monica Armenta would not answer if the teacher resigned or was fired, but said in a statement the teacher no longer works for the district, effective Nov. 30.

Johnson and others have said the teacher was Mary Eastin, who could not be reached for comment.

The update comes after the president of the Navajo Nation, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Johnson put pressure on the district to address and remedy the Halloween incident, which has garnered national attention.

Johnson said Superintendent Raquel Reedy gave her the news Monday night, adding it was a small win for her family.

“It brought a sense of relief for my family knowing she is no longer part of APS to hurt another child,” Johnson told the Journal.

Ultimately, she wants systemic change in the district.

She is still calling for APS to require the integration of Native American history and literature into the curriculum, Pueblo feast days added to the district calendar and a ban on culturally appropriated dress in schools.

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