(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A school district that partnered with the Wuhan School System in China has settled with an aide who sued after alleging she was forced to resign for saying COVID-19 originated in China, according to WCMH News.
The Olentangy Local School District, which engaged in a “cross-cultural partnership” with the Wuhan School System in 2019, settled with former study hall monitor Antoinette Evans, agreeing to wipe her file of all disciplinary records while Evans will not seek reemployment at the district, according to WCMH News. Evans sued in 2021 after she was allegedly forced to resign from her position at the school once an Asian student reported her for remarking that COVID-19 came from China.
“Can you believe that the coronavirus came from China and that China is making money from the sales of PPE [personal protective equipment] to the United States?” Evans said in April 2021 to a student.
District administrators told Evans that her comments were racist and bigoted, eventually telling her she would be dismissed from her job, WCMH News reported. Evans’ lawsuit sought $25,000 in damages, though the money was not included in the settlement.
The 2021 lawsuit alleged that the school district has promoted a left-wing agenda teaching Critical Race Theory and promoting Black Lives Matter campaigns within the classroom, according to the Columbus Dispatch. Evans had been written up before including for telling a student that “Italians were lynched more than Black people and had it worse,” the outlet reported.
“There’s a certain relief that the litigation is over with, and people can move forward,” Hartman told WCMH News. “To what extent has there been vindication or not? The other side always avows, ‘Oh, we did nothing wrong.’ That doesn’t lend itself to good feelings moving forward.”
In May, the school district was ordered to turn over documents detailing its partnership with Wuhan School System in China to the Ohio Supreme Court, according to WCMH News. Documents that must be turned over include the district’s communications with the Wuhan Education Bureau and a copy of the memorandum of cooperation and exchange between the two school systems.
In February, the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic likely originated from a leak in a Chinese laboratory. The Chinese Communist Party has pushed back against the World Health Organization (WHO) attempts to look into the origins of COVID-19 in the country.
The Olentangy Local School District and Evans’ lawyer, Curt Hartman did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.