Earlier this week, we wrote about a Columbus middle school teacher who was accused of cursing at students and pushing and shoving them. Instead of firing him, the Columbus school district assigned him to work not in a classroom, but in a distribution warehouse. Firing him would have been expensive and would have forced students to testify against him, an action the district wanted to avoid.
So it’s interesting to read that the school board in Kettering, a 7,000-student district south of Dayton, voted to suspend a high school teacher accused of similar (though not identical) actions and move towards terminating his contract, as the Dayton Daily News reports.
Here’s how the district’s human resources director described the accusations against the teacher:
“You demeaned and embarrassed certain students,” [the district's irector of human resource services] wrote, by allegedly calling them “idiots,” “airheads,” and “freaking morons;” telling students to “shut up” and “repeatedly” using profanity directed at students.
“You told a student that nothing smart could ever come out of her mouth, and that nobody likes her anyway,” the letter stated. “You had a picture of the superintendent next to your desk, and periodically ridiculed him to your students.”
Why did the Kettering school board decide to fire their teacher while the Columbus school board kept theirs in the classroom for years and on the payroll until his retirement?
Kettering school board president Julie Gilmore said she had no comment on the Kettering board’s decision or why her board’s decision differed from the Columbus board’s decision.
But here are a couple of ways these two school districts differ:
- Size. Columbus has about 51,000 students, Kettering 7,093.
- Demographics. Eighty-two percent of Columbus students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch; 38 percent of Kettering students are. Sixty percent of Columbus students are black, compared to 4 percent of Kettering students.
- Test results. Looking at eighth graders, for example, in Columbus 59 percent of students passed the state reading test compared to 91 percent for Kettering.