A Virginia substitute teacher has been suspended after expressing his approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and urging students to read Russian propaganda newspapers
Arlington Public Schools suspended John Stanton, 65, who made the comments during a middle school Spanish class on Friday, The Washington Post reported.
Stanton said he offered an opposing point of view and told students to read as many news sources as possible, including Sputnik News, which the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency have declared a “machine of state-run propaganda”.
“The statement that made me think I said, ‘I personally support Putin’s logic,’ and what I meant by that was that he made a rational decision based on his perception “Stanton said.
A school spokesperson declined to discuss the comments or Stanton’s employment status.
In an email to the school board, the parents said Stanton’s comments, expressing support for Russia and asking if anyone “hates Russia”, amounted to “advocacy of political positions and propaganda Russian”.
Officials informed Stanton that he was suspended due to “an allegation of comments made to students during teaching hours regarding sensitive world events with Russia and Ukraine.” Stanton said he does not plan to seek reinstatement.
Stanton, whose resume lists American Enterprise Institute researcher and “freelance journalist” roles, said he writes for outlets such as Pravda.