Summary of third-party Leko investigation released

The results of a third-party investigation – a summary of which was made public this week – into allegations lodged against a La Cañada High School math teacher largely mirror those of a district-led inquiry released last year.

In June 2011, then-school board member Cindy Wilcox filed a public complaint with the district alleging Gabrielle Leko habitually used derogatory language in her classroom, prompting an internal investigation.

In November, Wilcox went a step further and filed a federal uniform complaint, forcing the district to bring in an outside investigator to further examine the facts.

The district investigation concluded that Leko made “inappropriate comments containing gender and ethnic bias during exchanges of banter with students in an attempt to develop a rapport with students during class time.”

The third-party investigation summary deemed the Leko’s use of offensive language as “unlawful and inappropriate.”

“Not only are they offensive to the targeted student but invite replication and set an example for the entire class condoning the use of such comments,” the summary states.

Wilcox said she expects to receive a complete version of the third-party investigation in the coming weeks.

The district initiated dismissal proceedings against Leko last month. 

“This [investigation summary] says the things she did were not only improper, but unlawful,” Wilcox said. “I think that is a much stronger finding and my hope is it will better support the dismissal process which is really just getting underway.”


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-- Megan O'Neil, Times Community News

Twitter: @megankoneil

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