Public School Teacher Merely "Suspended" After Unseemly Allegations Surface

Posted: Dec 09, 2013 11:45 AM
Public School Teacher Merely "Suspended" After Unseemly Allegations Surface

A follow-up to my item from earlier. Among other things, Politico reported today that powerful union leaders invariably maintain they do not and will not “protect bad teachers”; they merely want to honor “due process.”

How, then, could they possibly explain something like this? Via Jazz Shaw:

Officials suspended James Lang without pay from his tenured job as an English teacher at Fords Middle School in Woodbridge -- a short distance from Staten Island -- 20 months ago.

The principal testified some students were afraid to go to Lang's class. …

Among the district's allegations against Lang were incidents including calling a student a "dirty ho," telling a student who bent over that he would "tap that" and asking students if they would be afraid if his "snake were in their bed," according to the Home News Tribune.

This man was not fired. On the contrary, he was only suspended despite allegations he sexually harassed his students, and indeed, made many of them feel uncomfortable and afraid. Is this not grounds for automatic termination? I suppose his presumed union representatives would maintain that as a “tenured” educator, he has the right to appeal his case, and therefore firing him on the spot would have been premature and unfair. Perhaps. But he was suspended nearly two years ago, and one would think the school district could have resolved this issue by now. Why haven’t they?

Schools are supposed to be places where children feel safe. If anything, this story shows how exceedingly difficult it is to fire public school teachers with tenured positions; even ones who allegedly make sexual advances on school grounds and in the classroom.

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