Arlington substitute teacher was suspended after telling students that he supports Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “logic” of invading Ukraine.
John Stanton (65), was a substitute for an eighth-grade Spanish class at Swanson Middle School. He used the first ten minutes of class to talk about the invasion of Eastern Europe, according to the Washington Post.
Stanton stated that the statement that got him was that he said, “I personally support Putin’s logic.” Stanton explained to the outlet that he meant that he made a rational choice based on his perception. Stanton also encouraged students to access Russian propaganda websites for news.
A concerned parent emailed Arlington School Board about Friday’s lesson after the lesson. A Post copy of the email reveals that the substitute teacher told students he supports Russia and asked whether any of the class members ‘hated Russia’. The email also stated that the comments were “advocacy for political positions and Russian propaganda.”
The substitute teacher was informed Tuesday that his suspension had been imposed by “an allegation regarding comments made to students during the instructional time regarding sensitive world events such as Russia and Ukraine.” Stanton stated to the Post that he does not intend or have any plans to seek reinstatement, although the letter suggested this possibility.
Stanton sent an email to the outlet with his resume. It stated that he was a Sputnik News reporter from Washington, DC between 2016 and 2018. He also admitted that he still writes for Pravda. The CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency stated that Sputnik was part of Russia’s state-run propaganda machine in 2017. Stanton sent the outlet his resume via email. He also claimed that he was a wire reporter for Sputnik. This article states that he gave insider information to a third-party “client” and was fired in April 2018.
Stanton claimed that the client was a U.S. intelligence agency. He did not identify the agency with which he claimed to have been working, nor did he give proof of his employment to The Post.
Stanton stated, “I extracted as much information from their [Sputnik News] computer system, taking photographs of the staff, and collecting information.”
He doubled down his commitment to engaging with students during Friday’s lesson.
Stanton said to the Post that he would only reach one student if he told them to “Be quiet” because he wanted the children to learn. “If that was the case, then I would do it again.”