LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A physics teacher at Louisville Male High School profiled in The New York Times has been temporarily pulled from the classroom amid an investigation, according to Jefferson County Public Schools.
The district did not disclose the allegations against Jeffrey Wright. His reassignment took effect Friday, according to JCPS Communications Director Renee Murphy.
"Since this is still an ongoing review, we are not at liberty to discuss any further details," Murphy said in an email Monday.
Wright, who did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, was the subject of a 2012 New York Times profile that highlighted not only his unconventional teaching style, but also his relationship with his son. Wright taught his son, who has a rare brain disorder known as Joubert syndrome, how to communicate through simple sign language.
Jefferson County Teachers Association President Brent McKim told WDRB News that the union does not confirm, deny or comment on any potential cases involving its members out of respect for their privacy.
In a letter to Male families Thursday, Principal Willie Foster said he was unsure when or if Wright would be back in the classroom. A substitute teacher has been assigned to cover Wright's class through the end of the semester, and the school is looking for a long-term, certified replacement once students return to Male next year, the principal said.
"While I am not able to discuss details of this personnel move, please be assured that the quality of your child's learning is my highest priority," Foster said in the letter obtained by WDRB News.
Wright's supporters have launched a petition on the website Change.org in hopes of getting him back in the classroom.
"Recently there has been a lot of controversy surrounding him," wrote the petition's author, Larisa Matanovic. "Accusations have been slung around, and one particularly led to his temporary dismissal. As of now, we don't know his future.
"Mr. Wright deserves to stay. He has done what countless teachers could not: inspire a new generation of students. He has been the beacon of hope in someone's life. He's helped countless of lost students find themselves. He's helped shape a class into something engaging rather than dull and boring."
Matanovic could not immediately be reached for comment. The petition has been signed by 2,416, nearly reaching its 2,500-signature goal.
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