Arlington Public Schools suspended John Stanton, 65, who made the comments during an eighth-grade Spanish lesson on Friday at Swanson Middle School (file image)


A Virginia substitute teacher has been suspended after expressing approval of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine and urging students to read Russian propaganda outlets including Sputnik News.

Arlington Public Schools suspended John Stanton, 65, who made the comments during an eighth-grade Spanish lesson on Friday at Swanson Middle School. 

Stanton told the Washington Post he offered an opposing viewpoint about Russia’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine for the first 10 minutes of a 90-minute class while expressing approval of Putin’s decision to invade.

The substitute teacher, who has worked pro-Moscow publications as a journalist, told the students to read as many news sources as possible, including Sputnik News, which the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency have declared a ‘state-run propaganda machine’.     

‘The statement I think that got me was I said, “I personally support the logic of Putin,” and what I meant by that is, he made a rational decision from his perception,’ Stanton said.

Arlington Public Schools suspended John Stanton, 65, who made the comments during an eighth-grade Spanish lesson on Friday at Swanson Middle School (file image)

Arlington Public Schools suspended John Stanton, 65, who made the comments during an eighth-grade Spanish lesson on Friday at Swanson Middle School (file image)

In an email to the school board, parents said Stanton’s comments, where he expressed support for Russia and asked students if anyone ‘hated Russia’, amounted to ‘advocacy of political positions, and Russian propaganda.’ The email noted there was a Ukrainian student in the class at the time. 

Officials notified Stanton on Tuesday that he was suspended because of ‘an allegation of comments made to students during instructional hours regarding sensitive world events with Russia and Ukraine.’  

Stanton, who has been subbing for Arlington for three years, said he doesn’t plan to petition for reinstatement.

He told Fox 5:’It is pointless to petition. We live in a time of war propaganda from both sides which brings with it censorship of opinions deviating from the core message. 

‘It is at a fever pitch now. As an expert in information warfare and the author of many pieces on the subject I speak with some authority.’ 

A schools spokesperson declined to discuss Stanton’s comments or employment status. 

Stanton, whose resume lists roles as an American Enterprise Institute researcher, a host of an unnamed 1980s ‘political/cultural radio program’ in D.C. and an ‘independent journalist,’ said he writes for outlets such as Pravda, which was the Soviet Union’s main propaganda platform.

In a Pravda opinion piece, published on Monday, Stanton argued that the US owns ‘every country in the NATO alliance’ and described Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is ‘great news for the West’s defense contractors who earn ‘billions of profit’. 

The substitute teacher, who has worked pro-Moscow publications as a journalist, told the students to read as many news sources as possible, including Sputnik News, which the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency have declared a 'state-run propaganda machine'

The substitute teacher, who has worked pro-Moscow publications as a journalist, told the students to read as many news sources as possible, including Sputnik News, which the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency have declared a ‘state-run propaganda machine’

Stanton also worked for Sputnik News in Washington D.C. from 2016 to 2018 according to his CV but a 2018 PBS article revealed he was filed after he gave information about outlet to a third-party client. 

‘I was extracting as much information as possible from their [Sputnik News] computer systems, taking pictures of the staff, collecting information,’ Stanton said, adding that the client was a US government intelligence agency without expanding further. 

Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia declined to directly answer questions about how Stanton was hired by the board or if a background check was carried out during the hiring process, the Washington Post reported.   

Instead, Bellavia said that ‘we pull from a pool of subs and they don’t have to have any background in the subject area they are subbing in.’

Stanton said he would give the same speech again if he had a chance, but understood why his speech on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was not appropriate for a Spanish class.  

‘If I reached one student — and there was one student that told the kids ‘Be quiet,’ because he wanted to learn,’ Stanton said. ‘If for one student that is the case then I would do it again.’

You May Also Like

1-Year-Old Girl Found Dead in River Was Thrown off Bridge by Dad

On Monday, California police found the body of a 1-year-old girl who…

‘Pedophile Extraordinaire’ Dwayne Gerard Gets 60-Year Term

A North Dakota man was sentenced to likely die in prison for…

2nd teen arrested in parking lot shootout with Aurora police

DENVER — A second teenager was arrested in connection with a shootout…

Autopsy: Anne Heche Had ‘No Evidence of Impairment’ on Day of Fatal Crash

Actor Anne Heche was not high on illicit drugs on the day…

Corey Lewandowski Testifies for Rudy Giuliani in Bar Case

Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski testifies before the House Judiciary Committee…

Former Edgewater, Black Hawk officer indicted on unlawful sexual contact charges

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — A former police officer with the Edgewater and…

Crime Stories with Nancy Grace: Teen Girl Shot Dead at Birthday Party

An Atlanta teen is shot dead at a reported birthday party. Hundred…

Jayveyon Louis Burley Killed 1-Year-Old Daughter: Cops

Jayveon Louis Burley A 22-year-old father in California is behind bars this…

Man arrested in connection to November shooting in Denver

DENVER — A man was arrested for investigation of attempted first-degree murder…

Serial Killer Border Patrol Agent Found Guilty

Juan David Ortiz A former Border Patrol agent was convicted of murdering…

Warning of Christmas hoax that ‘could cost unwary victims thousands’

Australians shopping online for Christmas presents are being warned about a hoax…

King Jay Davila’s grandmother reaches plea agreement in infant’s death

SAN ANTONIO – The grandmother of 8-month-old King Jay Davila has reached…