ARVADA, Colo. – A popular teacher at a prominent private school in Denver is out of a job, and parents say it’s because he tackled the topic of racism during a chapel talk last year.
Gregg Tucker, a former teacher and chaplain at Faith Christian Academy in Arvada spent 17 years of his life doing what he loved; but parents, students and alumni said his desire to have a student dialogue about racism is what got him fired recently.
In an open letter to the school community, Tucker said he felt an urgency to address the topic over a year ago when, “a number of disturbing instances of racism” at the private school came to light.
Among the allegations of racism at the school?
A teacher calling a student “blackie,” a student writing and sharing an essay on why whites were the superior race, a white student telling a black student to “go back to the cotton fields” and a student allegedly wearing a swastika to school.
Tucker said he researched the alleged incidents, interviewed those responsible for making the comments and scheduled his panel last August.
He even sent a letter out in advance to parents with the names of the people who would be participating during the talk.
Speaking to Denver7, school officials said they haven’t verified that these incidents of alleged racism actually took place.
Days after his talk, a group of parents complained to board members, saying they were upset their students were exposed to terms like “white privilege,” adding that talk of racism is “too political for a Christian school education.”
Within a month, Tucker was gone.
In a letter sent to parents, Superintendent Andrew Hasz denied his firing had anything to do with his talk on race and faith, saying in a statement:
“We absolutely do not tolerate racist behavior – and we do take strong action when substantiated incidents occur.”
Hasz did not comment on the specific allegations of racism, citing privacy reasons.
Tucker’s attorney told Denver7’s Theresa Marchetta that Tucket and his family are seeking spiritual and legal counsel at the moment.
The FCA Board is having its first meeting with parents, students and staff Tuesday night following Tucker’s firing. The meeting is not open to the public.