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An employee of the Upland Unified School District has been placed on leave after they allegedly sent racist messages to the parents of students.

The employee, who worked at Baldy View Elementary School, allegedly sent messages on Jan. 31 saying that they would refuse to participate in the school’s Lunar New Year celebrations and gave anti-Asian reasons for doing so.

“The school wants everyone to wear red tomorrow (Feb. 1) but I disagree and do not support the CCP,” one message said, including a reference to the Chinese Communist Party.

“I am sorry and disagree. China gave us this Covid and will not wear red,” the message continued. “Parents you need to wake up!”

In addition, at least one student was denied her “little daily rewards” each student is given because she was wearing a red Lunar New Year shirt, according to Dianna Ho-Merlino, who serves as president of a parent-teacher association for another UUSD school.

Ho-Merlino added that the messages were “unacceptable,” and she felt compelled to say something about what she views as “psychological abuse.”

The school district would not identify the employee or the job they held, though they did condemn the messages.

“We just want to reiterate that our values are about diversity, being inclusive, making everybody feel like they belong here, and really, that safety and well-being, we work really hard for students to feel that that peace and well-being, so this really just doesn’t align with that. Again, it will not be tolerated in our district,” said Liz Pinney-Mugliaof the UUSD.