Wisconsin teacher accused of using anti-Asian slurs against student’s resignation


A Wisconsin high school music teacher has quit following allegations of harassment and discrimination.

Under investigation : Robert Perkins, a band teacher at Wausau East High School, has been accused of using racial and sexually dehumanizing slurs against an openly gay Asian American senior student.

The Wausau School Board accepted Perkins’ resignation on Monday as part of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Public Instruction on the teacher’s alleged misconduct.

An early dismissal: Twan and Manee Vongphakdy, the victim’s parents who filed a formal complaint with the Wausau School Board against Perkins on April 5, expressed frustration with the initial handling of their son’s case.

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The district previously dismissed the complaint in late April, determining that if Perkins engaged in “insensitive and unprofessional conduct” and used racist or sexual language, it did not constitute harassment or discrimination.

Further investigations followed: A series of alleged incidents uncovered by USA Today Network-Wisconsin led the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to launch an investigation into Perkins’ alleged misconduct in May.

The district’s investigative process was found to be flawed, as it failed to follow its own guidelines by not sharing the investigation report with both parties at critical stages. The initial dismissal of the complaint was widely criticized by the community, prompting the Wausau Board of Education to launch its own investigation into Perkins’ behavior. Multiple complaints against the teacher have also emerged, including some from former students.

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Total liability: When the family finally got access to the report on Tuesday, they said they were pleased with the improved transparency, hoping for full accountability that confirms Perkins’ violation of Title IX laws.

“We finally saw the investigation report, which corroborated that he had uttered racist and homophobic insults,” said Twan Vongphakdy. “The testimonies showed a pattern of behaviors – it wasn’t just a comment, and not just a student witnessed it.”

Community support: Throughout the controversy, the Asian American community of Wausau rallied behind the Vongphakdy family.

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The student, who said he endured months of debilitating, victim-blaming anxiety, said he felt vindicated by the development of the case and Perkins’ resignation. He is now seeking healing and closure as he prepares to attend the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the fall.

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