‘Awesome he’s dying’: Wisconsin teacher on leave after tweets on Rush Limbaugh

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A city alderman is calling for the discipline of a public school teacher over his tweets on Rush Limbaugh's lung cancer revelation.

After Limbaugh's announcement Monday, Travis Sarandos, a teacher at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, wrote on Twitter, "Rush Limbaugh absolutely should have to suffer from cancer. It's awesome that he's dying, and hopefully it is as quick as it is painful."

Limbaugh, 69, a prominent conservative radio host, said Monday that he was beginning treatment for lung cancer. He told his radio audience that he was diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease. He said the diagnosis was confirmed on Jan. 20. During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Donald Trump awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan said in a statement that Sarandos took to Twitter and "told his 1,323 followers he was glad" about Limbaugh's diagnosis.

"He has no business in an MPS system classroom," Donavan said of Sarandos. Sarandos' tweet has since been removed.

MPS officials announced Wednesday afternoon that the teacher was placed on leave.

An MPS spokeswoman issued this statement Wednesday:

"We are aware of Mr. Sarandos’ actions and can confirm that he was not speaking on behalf of any students or staff of Milwaukee High School of the Arts or Milwaukee Public Schools. The district is following policy and procedures related to personnel matters. Mr. Sarandos has been placed on leave pending further investigation."

Donovan said there were other tweets published by Sarandos that he found highly offensive, including one he described as being hateful toward Christians.

"It's so disappointing, and as far as I'm concerned, he needs to go," Donovan said Wednesday. "This kind of hatred has no role to play in people who are teaching our kids. It's there. It's out there, and you can't hide. I just think it's terrible."

Sarandos responded to requests for an interview Wednesday with the following statement: "I regret the statements. It was meant as a joke, but it was in very poor taste. I do not have any further comment."

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