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Teachers Disciplined

February 26th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Each year, 600 of Florida’s teachers are disciplined for everything from sexual misconduct to abusive behavior. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, four dozen teachers were disciplined today on charges that they fondled students or were culturally insensitive.

Hear it Here: Teachers Disciplined

Only a small percentage of Florida’s teachers are disciplined each year, but when their cases reach the Education Practices Commission, it’s serious business.

“This is a case of under the influence in school,” DOE attorney Bonnie Wilmot said.

“Ms. McQueen paid two people, or at least one person, to have two grades changed,” Ron Stowers, DOE attorney said.

Forty-four teachers were disciplined by the commission on Monday. They included a Pinellas county teacher who told a middle school student to go back to Africa after the student  failed to stand for the pledge of allegiance.

“He disciplined him and it sounds like he disciplined him inappropriately,” commission chairman Dennis Griffin said.

A half dozen teachers failed to even respond to the commission. At least one was in jail. Leniency was not on the agenda.

“We request that Mr. Black’s Educator’s Certificate be permanently revoked, and that he be permanently bared from re-application,” DOE attorney Miki Presley said.

“We would like to recommend that his Florida Educator’s Certificate be permanently revoked,” Wilmot said.

Some teachers were allowed to remain in the classroom, but only after admitting they had problems and agreeing to remediation, which often included college level ethics classes.

“It’s about getting the person back on the right track so that they can do an affective job,” commission member Mark Strauss said.

“Want to know if your child’s teacher has ever been in trouble? It’s available on line.”

The internet has also brought new problems. One of the most common offenses these days is downloading pornography on school computers.

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