I found this very upsetting.
I found this very upsetting.
This is very disturbing and sad.
Terrible way to treat a child. Hope they at least get fired.
Terrible way to treat a child. Hope they at least get fired.
Why the hell do they need a "meeting" to decide what to do about "what action to take"? And "administrative leave" - is that paid or unpaid? This is why unions need to be done away with, and all jobs should be "at will" with very clear, no-exceptions policies for what happens in situations like this. Bullying a student for something he can't control (and the proof is there in this case) should lead to automatic termination and loss of any teaching certification.
Haunting the Princess of Pink since 20/07/11...
From a reliable source:
Note that one is NOT a teacher but a paraprofessional/aide. A job that does not require a teaching certificate or a degree.
In this not-a-tabloid story, it explains that by Alabama state law, a school employee cannot be fired on the spot by a principal. The superintendent and school board have to be involved. A decision on these two employees is scheduled to be made at a board meeting on April 9 and expected to be termination.
Just some background--in AL, up until the time of official termination, all leave must be paid. After that, pay is stopped. The employee can protest the termination, but they won't be paid in the interim (as was the case before AL passed teacher reform legislation last year).
Ironically, it may have been the intervention of the AL teacher's union in the 2010 GOP gubernatorial primaries that sparked such a strong backlash and prompted a rash of school reform measures during the lame duck session and beyond. The teacher's union backed the far-right GOP candidate, pouring two million dollars into opposing the moderate GOP candidate simply because the moderate supported school reform policies (being a former college chancellor).
Under prior AL law, in order to get rid of a bad teacher, you had to go through a federal arbitration system. This was an extremely lengthy and expensive process, sometimes costing districts hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees. During the arbitration process (which would take years), the teacher had to be paid with full benefits. Few states have such a difficult process to get rid of teachers as AL had.http://www.al.com/news/press-registe...370.xml&coll=3More than a year after a jury convicted her of luring a student for sex, former Washington County teacher Charlene Schmitz continues to draw a salary from the county's school system.
Schmitz has been incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee, Fla., for months, but the school system's efforts to fire her have been held up by an Alabama law giving tenured teachers the right to challenge their dismissal in front of an arbitrator.
An arbitrator has been selected to decide the case but cannot hold hearings until Schmitz's appeals and related state charges have been resolved.
Larry Moss, the school system's chief financial officer, said Schmitz has been paid $51,666 since her termination on May 27, 2008. The system has also paid another $19,270 in retirement contributions, Social Security taxes and fringe benefits.
Moss said Schmitz would be eligible for any raises that teachers might get between now and the conclusion of her case.
Superintendent Tim Savage said, "It is totally exasperating, because it's taking money away from students."
Savage noted that he had to hire another teacher to replace Schmitz. "We're paying twice what we should be paying," he said.
But Schmitz's lawyer in the employment matter, Henry Caddell, said his client's right to refrain from self-incrimination could be jeopardized by arbitration hearings held prior to the end of the criminal cases.
Anything that Schmitz said during testimony in front of the arbitrator could be used against her in criminal court.
"We've had many teachers who turned out to be innocent," he said. "If we didn't have this, they could have been out there for months without means to support their family."
A federal jury in Mobile convicted the 56-year-old Leroy woman in February 2008 of using a computer and cell phone to lure the 14-year-old boy for sex.
Not even a criminal conviction was enough to stop pay and benefits--any and all appeals had to be exhausted as well. Just fyi, a year after the article was written, that teacher was still on the payroll because of the appeals she filed.
That's why the new rules were put into place to get rid of federal arbitration for dismissed teachers. There is still an appeals process, though. It's just now the school district isn't on the hook for pay and benefits for terminated teachers during that process.
I would add that, regardless of tenure or unions, teachers (not aides, though) are typically contract employees guaranteed employment from the beginning to end of the school year. It is difficult for both parties to break the contract in the middle. Example: a friend of mine was in the middle of a contract when her husband got a law job in another state. She requested to be allowed to leave the district in December and not complete her contract. Her request was denied because she could not be easily replaced at that point and she had to remain and finish the school year.
I have a relative with Down Syndrome (and like myself, a figure skating fan) and grew up with neighbours, who we were close to. Their daughter had Down Syndrome. The disgust this makes me feel are beyond words acceptible.
Even contract employees in other fields can be fired for non-performance. If you hire a consultant for a job and they do something egregious that makes it difficult to work with them or they haven't done anything to date, you can legally claim breach of contract and terminate the relationship. Same should be true for teachers.
It depends on how the contract is written. Both schools I worked in had clauses that you could be dismissed for criminal activity or other egregious offenses in mid-contract but it did require board approval. When a teacher at our school was arrested for making sexual advances toward a student, the board met in an emergency session to dismiss him immediately. I believe that meeting took place in less than 24 hours. The teacher had not denied the behavior, though, and his court plea later was no contest. If a teacher is denying charges, then there could be an additional issue. But again, as I assume you would know, that would be dependent on how the contract is written.
I'm not understanding how the aide has not been dismissed. They are not contract employees in districts here and, like other support staff, it is not uncommon for them to come and go in the midst of a school year.
Given some of the moron principals I have worked for and heard about, I don't have a problem with the idea that a principal cannot dismiss someone on their own. In this case, though, it seems that a meeting could be called quickly to resolve the situation, but it appears they have chosen to wait until a regularly scheduled board session for some reason. I find that a little odd.
I could be wrong, but I suspect there may be personnel issues. Finding good aides and special ed teachers is difficult. Sometimes all a school wants is a body, and they'll take almost anyone just to fill the slot.
I wondered if that was why the principal brought the aide and teacher back after the first admin leave.
I can see waiting to actually fire them until the next scheduled board meeting if that's only a couple weeks away. It can be hard to schedule a meeting like that faster. But I'm betting the board assumed the aide and teacher would be on leave during that time--not placed back in the classroom. The principal did acknowledge that was an error and accepted full responsibility for that.
If this is a classroom teacher, I'm sure she can be easily replaced. There are plenty of elementary classroom teachers out of work.
Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.
Okay, so, my SPGN class definitely was the worst class I took at EMU and I got almost nothing out of it.
That said, you don't need a class - or anything, really, besides a heart - to know that this isn't the way you treat any human being.
And, yes, of course, you have to take a ton of classes on Special Education in order to be a Special Education teacher. It's an extremely tough discipline, and I am not surprised that some people can't handle it, but if that's the case then you should leave the position at the end of the school year and find a new career, not stick around and insult, hurt, and emotionally injure your students.
What I tend to see more are special ed teachers who've burned out a long time ago, and just really don't want to be there anymore but have nowhere else to go. That can be true of teachers generally, but the daily student management issues required of special ed teachers can make them prone to far more problematic behaviors given the vulnerable students they work with.
Also, I can't think of a district offhand that has special requirements for their special ed aides. Oftentimes these are people who've barely graduated from high school, have low skill sets themselves, and have no training whatsoever. These are the people special ed kids are most in contact with, and they can be very problematic.
We had a tutor once working with my son. He wasn't my son's aide--just a math tutor. Anyhow, he would say disparaging things to my son for having a g-tube at the time and requiring feedings. Sometimes the g-tube would make a little gurgle sound, and he would accuse my son of doing that on purpose. He would always reprimand my son for involuntary muscle movements, or other things he couldn't control. Fortunately he was reassigned quickly.
Anyhow, all I can say is this happens far too often.
But Pdilemma is right in that this may not have been a special ed teacher--it could have been a regular one (I thought I had read in another article the teacher was special ed, but since I can't find it now, maybe I was mistaken). And regular teachers can be really quite resistant to working with special needs kids and let that show in a myriad of ways. I think we've had more problems with regular teachers than special ed ones. Course, we moved to OK in part just so we could have stronger special ed supports. What a difference that can make.
I have never understood teachers who just don't seem to like students very much. It really bugs me. It's like they see them almost as an inconvenience.
I am lucky that my son's EA enjoys working with him and he loves her. I am very very lucky that our principal has a special needs background so she has advocated for us every year to ensure we have an EA for our youngest.
Education Assistant's require at least a college diploma and they are hired by the board where I live. Our son is mainstreamed but will go into a special needs program once he starts grade 4.
If this ever happened to my son I would have done the exact same thing as this mom. Those people should lose their jobs at the very minimum and on the personal side (slightly vindictive) I hope they are dealing with public ridicule right now for what they did to this poor kid!
~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)