Sandalwood High teacher gets 5-day suspension for ‘unprofessional conduct’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A math teacher at Sandalwood High School will be suspended for five days without pay after a unanimous vote by the Duval County School Board on Tuesday night.

Thomas Caggiano was at the center of a DCPS inquiry launched after the Florida Times-Union exposed the long-time instructor’s Facebook posts, which were described as “transphobic, homophobic, xenophobic and racist.”

The social media diatribe, which the TU said was scrubbed after its news article, came in the months following a confrontation between Caggiano and one of his students, a transgender girl.

The student told the paper that Caggiano refused to use the girl’s pronouns, an action which prompted the district’s largest high school to administer inclusion training.

Caggiano was reassigned away from students late this summer to the district’s operations center in Northwest Jacksonville, but the district would not say whether the move is permanent.

The five-day suspension for Caggiano’s “unprofessional conduct” did not specify what motivated the consequence. It was unanimously approved in the same vote as several other business items including a 10-day, unpaid suspension of Benjamin Wade, listed as a social studies teacher at Alfred DuPont Middle School.

Neither Caggiano nor Wade has any previous professional discipline listed in the Florida Department of Education’s database.

News4Jax reporter Corley Peel reached out to Caggiano on Wednesday, and he said: “All I have to say is I did nothing wrong.”

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