TAOS, N.M. (KRQE) – The community is rallying behind a Taos High School teacher put on leave after raising concerns about teacher safety. Honors teacher Francis Hahn spoke out after a threat to Taos High. The administration decided to keep students at home but told teachers to report to the building for remote learning.

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Hahn, who also serves as the local union president, questioned the safety of the faculty and staff. He says he was then placed on leave. Now students and alumni from Taos High have created a Change.org petition to reinstate the teacher. It has more than 1,000 signatures.

They say while Hahn is out they aren’t learning. “They had teaching assistants come in so we practically had study hall,” one Taos High alum said.

“There was a lot of important work up in the air. We’re starting to prepare for the AP test and finally, yesterday was our first time back in there, it was a little bit of a lesson plan from Mr. Hahn,” said student Lilith Safford.

The school district says an independent investigation is underway. The Teacher’s Union has filed a charge against Taos Schools with the state’s Labor Relations Board for prohibited practice.