Sanford officials are investigating comments made by a longtime substitute teacher in a videotaped conversation with a student.

In a video posted Thursday night to Twitter by @brodyahmar, the student seems to initiate a conversation about President Trump’s proposed border wall.

The teacher responds by saying, “Oh, you’re getting kicked out of my country.” When the student says it’s his country, too, she responds, “It’s been mine longer than it’s been yours.”

Later, the teacher begins to say, “When Donald Trump is done …” before being interrupted. Then she continues, “instead of 1,100 in this building we’re gonna have 7.”

Sanford Superintendent David Theoharides said he has been investigating the incident since it was brought to his attention Friday morning. He had interviewed the student, but had yet to talk to the teacher. He said he could not identify either individual at this time.

“Certainly, the comments I heard from the substitute teacher I would never condone and I’m sorry to hear that she did it,” Theoharides said.

The incident comes after Trump sparked international outrage by reportedly making disparaging remarks about immigrants from “shithole countries,” referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations.

The one-minute video of the Sanford incident had been viewed more than 4,200 times as of 8:15 p.m. Friday.

Theoharides said the incident occurred in a classroom of 11th-graders at Sanford Regional Technical Center, which accepts students from towns beyond Sanford. He declined to provide information about the teacher, other than to say that she is a longtime substitute who is “very well respected.” He said the student was not from Sanford.

The clip is only a portion of 10-minute-long video, Theoharides said. He said he has yet to see the entire video, which could provide additional context for the remarks.

“When there’s an argument going on there’s usually two people and I don’t really understand the other part of it,” he said. “Certainly the adult should be able to be the adult and not get sucked into an argument like that. What I could hear from the student’s part of it, he was going on and on with it, too.”

Theoharides noted that students at the school are not allowed to have their cellphones in the classroom.

In the video, the teacher tells the student that the U.S. has been her country longer than his. The student responds by saying: “I don’t care. I still ain’t goin’ nowhere. You really think that wall scares me? It ain’t doin’ nothin’.”

The teacher points out that “ain’t” isn’t proper English and tells the student to “talk my language.” The student, who used vulgar language on two occasions, responds by saying he speaks three languages.

Theoharides said he expects to wrap up his investigation Tuesday. When asked whether any disciplinary actions were expected against the teacher or student, he said: “Something has got to get worked out. I don’t want that kind of stuff going on in the school.”

Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at:

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