Poly High teacher on paid leave after allegations of racial slurs, physical-disciplinary action surface online

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In an online blog post dated Feb. 13, multiple Polytechnic High School students alleged their teacher, identified in the post as Libby Huff, called a student the N-word and “put her hands on many of us students on multiple occasions.”

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) told the Signal Tribune that the teacher in question was originally put on paid administrative leave on Jan. 31 following an investigation into a complaint the district received.

Following that investigation, the teacher returned to the classroom on Feb. 12. In the blog post, students claimed that some did not feel comfortable and walked out of her class.

On Feb. 14, the district placed the teacher on paid administrative leave again and is currently investigating the “newly received complaints.”

“The school district is not at liberty to provide details of such investigations, but we consider the safety and wellbeing of our students to be our top priority,” Chris Eftychiou, public information director for the LBUSD, stated.

Eftychiou said that a timeline for how long the teacher will stay paid leave has not been finalized.

The Department of Children and Family Services notified the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) “of allegations of criminal conduct by a teacher against students at Poly High School.”

“The department immediately sent officers to contact the four juvenile victims and reports were taken to document the alleged abuse,” Jennifer De Prez, public information officer with the LBPD told the Signal Tribune. “Detectives from the Child Abuse Detail are actively investigating the allegations and are in the process of reviewing the reports and determining if any additional victims and/or witnesses need to be contacted.”

The four juveniles mentioned in the LBPD’s statement was not immediately identified.

Police said those with information pertaining to this incident may call 562-570-7321. They said any non-criminal complaints should be reported to the LBUSD.

The blog post, which was written by students from grades 9 through 12, has caused outcry from the community.

Myriam Gurba, a Government, Economics and AP Psychology teacher at Poly High school took to Twitter to express her thoughts on the allegations.

“I am furious that a teacher at my school called a kid the N-word,” Gurba wrote. “Now, teachers at my school are texting me, telling not to talk about what’s in the papers and to show some ‘respect’ for the district by shutting my mouth. Is that how it’s gonna be?”

Sara Ramirez, an activist and actress who appeared on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, shared the students’ post on Twitter.

“Hey [LBUSD], are you aware of this compilation of 31 statements by students grades 9-12 regarding deeply concerning behavior of one of your PacRim Academy of Long Beach Polytechnic High School teachers, Libby Huff?” Ramirez’ tweet read.

The teacher could not be immediately reached for comment.