Teacher in chair-throwing incident not punished

AP News
Posted: Apr 18, 2014 11:43 AM

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts teacher who was told she could lose her job for failing to report that a student threw a chair at her won't be punished, school administrators said.

"Based upon the review of the facts, except for the fact that the incident should have been reported in a more timely manner, the matter was handled reasonably under the circumstances and no disciplinary action was applied to the teacher," New Bedford Superintendent Pia Durkin said in a statement released after a hearing held Thursday for high school teacher Joanne Maura.

The school will review its communications policies and procedures in light of the incident, Durkin added.

An 18-year-old student threw a chair at Maura last month after she confiscated his cellphone. The chair didn't strike her.

A letter informing Maura of the investigation said she could be subject to disciplinary action, including possible termination, because she had failed to properly report the incident. Administrators said they only found out about it because another student posted a video of it on YouTube.

Believe Him
Katie Pavlich

Maura said she reported it immediately to the school resource officer and a housemaster. She did not comment after Thursday's hearing.

Louis St. John, president of the city teachers' union, told The Standard-Times (http://bit.ly/1hTuEpK ) that Maura was relieved.

"She feels that this has been like a dark cloud over her," he said.

The student who threw the chair was expelled and charged by police.


Information from: The (New Bedford, Mass.) Standard-Times, http://www.southcoasttoday.com