AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — A former Williamsville Spanish teacher is taking legal action against the school district after she was fired over a controversial worksheet.

Students in Karen Hamm’s class at Mill Middle School were asked to complete a sentence translation worksheet that included the phrases, “You are Mexican and ugly” and “You are pretty and American.”

Hamm is seeking her job back with back pay and $1.5 million.

Legal documents say that Hamm, who worked as a Spanish teacher in the district for 30 years, used the same assignment from 2007 to 2021. The assignment was shared with News 4 in January by concerned parents.

A copy of the homework assignment was shared with News 4. The district called it “unacceptable.”

The words “friendly” and “politely” are asking students to decipher whether or not the “usted” form of the word should be used, which is more formal in Spanish.

In January, the district condemned the assignment, calling it ‘unacceptable.’ She was suspended the following month.

The district says it “implemented the decision of an independent, third-party hearing officer to terminate a tenured teacher pursuant to state law.”

The full lawsuit can be seen below.

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Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.