Court overturns firings over racial remarks

MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — An appeals court has overturned the firing of two New Jersey teachers who allegedly called students "Negroes."

The judges say the penalty was too harsh and ordered the state education commissioner's office to hold a new hearing for Brigitte Geiger and Sharon Jones. The Mount Olive High School teachers denied making the comments in a locker room in 2012.

An administrative law judge recommended the teachers be dismissed after finding testimony credible from two girls in the senior class who said they heard the remarks.

But the appeals court said Geiger and Jones had long "unblemished" records and other teachers in similar circumstances had not been dismissed.

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