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Posted on 09/03/2012 7:29:31 PM PDT by Bullish
YUCAIPA - In the past five years, the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District has had to deal with a teacher with fake credentials, another who showed up to work drunk, teachers who failed to take students' safety seriously and more.
In all, the district has reported six teachers to the state's credentialing authority over the last five school years.
The incidents, and three others that did not result in the district contacting the credentialing authority, were reported to the media in response to a Public Records Act request made by The Sun, the Redlands Daily Facts and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.
The newspapers are producing an ongoing Safe Schools special report, requesting documents from 19 Inland Empire school districts concerning complaints of teacher misconduct. The special project comes in light of the sexual abuse scandal at Miramonte School in South Los Angeles earlier this year.
Names of the employees were blacked out in the documents given to the media.
The teacher who wasn't
In the 2006-2007 school year, the district employed a male special education teacher under its intern teacher program, a last step for a would-be teacher gaining their credentials.
But early in January, officials began to have questions about the student-teacher, and faxed a copy of one of two letters allegedly provided by National University in San Bernardino - the student-teacher's alleged alma mater - to the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Office and the ruse began to unravel.
The county office told district officials that the person who had allegedly signed the letter no longer worked for National University. The district followed up, calling the university, and discovered the student-teacher had never been enrolled there - and certainly had never been recommended for the district's internship program.
The student-teacher resigned on Jan. 11, 2007.
This sort of incident is unlikely to happen again, said Melissa Moore, assistant superintendent of human resources. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, the body that monitors credentials for educators in the state, now has a searchable online database.
"You can look up immediately as to whether someone has a credential," Moore said.
Under the influence
In the 2007-2008 school year, a teacher was suspended for three days without pay for violating the district's drug-free workplace policy after being discovered to have been under the influence of alcohol on campus. A disciplinary document also was placed in the teacher's file.
The credentialing commission was told of the incident and suspended the teacher's credential for 10 days.
Failure to report a threat
Also in the 2007-2008 school year, a Yucaipa High School teacher failed to report to school administrators or police that a parent had made threats to a male student on campus on May 6, despite several conversations the following day with an assistant principal.
The teacher did tell the student and his parents, but falsely claimed to have attempted to alert police and school officials about the threats, despite no evidence of ever having done so.
This wasn't merely a lapse in judgment. District policy states teachers are required to report concerns about student safety in a timely fashion. State standards also say that "teachers need to maintain a safe learning environment."
This wasn't the first time the teacher hadn't promptly alerting the proper authorities about threats to campus safety. Only weeks before, the same teacher violated the district's safety policy on April 12 and had been written up for it on April 17.
The teacher was suspended without pay and a disciplinary document was placed in the teacher's file.
Teacher skips school
Toward the end of the 2007-2008 school year, a teacher announced his intention to quit before school year ended.
"They actually sought another job outside of education, and got another job, which was great, but this particular teacher was in a shortage area," Moore said.
He had signed a contract in May 2007 to teach for the entire 2007-2008 school year, and his letter of resignation, tendered on April 14, 2008, and effective April 25, 2008, was rejected because the district had been unable to fill his position in the two weeks it had to do so.
The teacher was instructed to show up at work on April 28 as usual. April 28 arrived and he was a no-show. The district scrambled, reorganizing his students into other classrooms for the remaining weeks of the school year.
The next day, the district reported the teacher to the credentialing commission, which suspended his credential for a year.
In January 2009, a Mesa View Middle School teacher told a student to "get his Palestinian ass back in his seat," according to multiple witnesses. (The original complaint also alleged the teacher used additional profanity, but witnesses couldn't corroborate that part of the complaint.)
The student, who had a history of disciplinary issues, complained the teacher singled him out because of his ethnicity. The student's parent failed to show up for a meeting with a school administrator, and no disciplinary action was taken against the teacher, although a disciplinary document was added to the teacher's file.
In February 2009, a Park View Middle School teacher confronted a seventh-grade student who reportedly had shoved a substitute teacher off a planter. In front of his class, the teacher referred to the student as a "bee-yotch," and left his classroom during class, pulling the student out of his English class to interrogate him.
During the interrogation, the teacher used more inappropriate language - saying what the student said was "b.s." and told the student to "shut his mouth." He then told the student "if you ever touch or push another adult at our school in such a way, you're a dead man."
The student's family kept their son out of school after the confrontation and the teacher did not report what had happened to administrators until they heard about it through other means.
Citing the teacher's opening the district up to legal action from the boy's family, as well as leaving his class unsupervised, the district began the process of suspending him without pay. Instead, the teacher resigned, effective June 12, and the district reported the teacher to the credentialing commission.
Student breaks hand
In May 2009, a Yucaipa High School student broke her hand playing Over the Line - a game related to baseball and softball that only requires three players per team - during physical education class.
The student had requested to be allowed to wear a glove while playing, as the school's other three coaches do, but her teacher insisted gloves were not allowed in the game. (Over the Line balls are softer than baseballs or softballs.) The teacher was directed to allow students to wear gloves for Over the Line if they ask to.
Wavered on waiver
In one of two incidents reported by the district to have occurred in the 2011-2012 school year as of April 3, 2012, a speech language pathologist was reported to the credentialing commission after she pulled out of her contract early in the year.
The pathologist was hired in August 2011 on a variable term waiver - a short-term hire used when either the employee hasn't finished the certification process or when a district is unable to find a fully qualified employee in time.
In October, after the school board had signed off on the waiver, the pathologist told district officials she didn't feel the contract was "ethical" and resigned.
"This particular individual felt they were not getting enough support and they did not understand the demands that were going to be placed on them," Moore said. "Speech pathology is probably the number one shortage across the state."
The district reported her to the commission for failure to fulfill her contract.
Thumped on the head
A seventh-grade Park View Middle School student - a well-behaved "A" student, according to school records - had been hit or "thumped" on the head three times in the fall of 2011 by his sixth-period teacher.
An investigation showed the teacher had tapped the student on the head, saying "think," and that she regularly pretended she was going to hit students.
The district apologized to the student's family, transferred the student to another class and placed a disciplinary document in the teacher's file.
Read more: http://www.dailybulletin.com/breakingnews/ci_21456299/yucaipa-calimesa-district-reported-six-teachers-five-years#ixzz25SpspHYN
Whoa Nellie...this hitting close to home...this area is my stomping ground. Gotta keep an eye on this.
I’m not necessarily defending any of these teachers. But you never know everything with these types of reports - like how big/menacing the “kid” is. But getting disciplined for thumping a kid on the head? What would have happened to Mr. Mays, my 7th grade music teacher, who whacked kids on the behind with a ping-pong paddle (with holes drilled through it)? And had them step up to the front of the class and bend over to receive this encouragement!
There is a teacher here who was molesting little boys in the classroom, a counselor reported it, but the administrators didn’t do anything for 6 months! This teacher had been transfered from another school, no doubt for doing the same things there. Bureaucrats don’t really care what is wrong, they just want things to look nice to the outside world. Their motto is “Don’t Make Waves”.