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Edison School leader on leave after allegations of racially insensitive language

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The executive director of the Edison School of the Arts is on administrative leave after allegations of racially insensitive language.

Nathan Tuttle has been a licensed educator since 1999 and a licensed administrator since 2009, according to Indiana Department of Education online records.

The Edison School Board issued a statement to News 8.

“The Board of Directors of Edison School of the Arts became aware on March 2nd of an allegation regarding inappropriate language used by the school’s executive director. The Board takes these allegations seriously and placed the executive director on administrative leave, pending investigation. We have engaged in conversations with our staff, students and families about this incident and have made support available to students and staff at the school.”

Jennifer Dzwonar, partner, crisis and community relations for Borshoff

Shamura Caruthers Spalding is a former dance teacher at Edison; she left the school in January 2022. “Honestly, I wasn’t really surprised, and the reason why I wasn’t surprised was because the environment at Edison, it was a toxic environment anyway.”

She said, in her experience at the school, certain children of color would get greater punishments than white students for the same behaviors.

Caruthers Spalding said, “He’s the main reason why I left, and I would probably never ever return to that school, and I do miss teaching dance in a public school setting, but he is the reason why I would never want to step foot in that building. I am kind of lost in that moment of ‘Would I even want to go back into education because of it?’”

Indianapolis Public Schools said Edison is part of the IPS Innovation Network but clarified Tuttle is not an employee of IPS because Edison is a separate entity with its own school board.

IPS issued a statement to News 8.

“Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is aware of the allegation that a staff member at Edison School of the Arts 47 used inappropriate language in the presence of students on Thursday, March 2. An investigation is underway, and the employee has been placed on administrative leave by the Edison school board.”

Indianapolis Public Schools

Tuttle is no longer listed as an employee on the Edison school website as of Tuesday. The school itself did not respond to News 8’s request for comment. Its school board will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the cafeteria at Edison, 777 S. White River Parkway West Drive.

The school board’s special meeting will be for hearing public comment on the administrator issue.  Members of the public wishing to make a statement will register on a sign-up sheet at the beginning of the meeting and must keep their comments under 3 minutes in length “to ensure that everyone wishing to speak may be heard,” the school said in a statement.

Written comments may be emailed by Thursday to Vionta Jones, Edison’s director of operations, at