Skip to comments.Teacher Sues School over Suspension for 'Weapons' Charge: Showing Students Garden Tools
Posted on 04/23/2013 8:48:52 AM PDT by grundle
Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute have filed a civil rights lawsuit against a Chicago public school district on behalf of a second-grade teacher who was suspended after he displayed garden-variety tools such as wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers in his classroom as part of a "tool discussion" in his class.
Despite the fact that all potentially hazardous items were kept out of the students' reach, school officials at Washington Irving Elementary School informed Doug Bartlett, a 17-year veteran in the classroom, that his use of the tools as visual aids endangered his students. Bartlett was subsequently penalized with a four-day suspension without pay - charged with possessing, carrying, storing or using a weapon.
The complaint charges that Bartlett "suffered humiliation, embarrassment, mental suffering, and lost wages, and was suspended for four days" - and asks for "nominal and compensatory damages" and for the suspension to be expunged from the teacher's record.
"This school district's gross overreaction to a simple teaching demonstration on basic tools such as wrenches and pliers underscores exactly what is wrong with our nation's schools," said Rutherford Institute Pres. John Whitehead.
"What makes this case stand out from the rest is that this latest victim of zero tolerance policies run amok happens to be a veteran school teacher," Whitehead said.
None of the tools were made accessible to the students. When not in use, the tools were secured in a toolbox on a high shelf out of reach of the students. They were used to demonstrate the proper use of tools.
I don’t think it is too hard to identify the “tools” in this story.
So I guess there are no vocational schools in Chicago?
Garden tools? Methinks the educrat administration needs to be met with pitchforks and torches, buckets of warm tar and feathers.
It sounds like the end of our educational system. Just read the propaganda, children.
His real crime was letting the kids know there were such things as tools, which implies work.
Can’t have kids learning about work.
Earlier article stated that he showed a pocket knife. If true, then this article is carefully leaving out that detail. Zero tolerance after all is what they wanted.
Fur Shur we have another cadre of school administrators who should not be permitted to be in the presence of young children.
Chicago must be the most stupidly run school system in the country!
Thank God he never planted me in Chicago for any length of time.
What do they do in shop class?
Was prob the Hoe that got him in trouble!
Simple hand-tools are weapons in Chi-town schools. Wouldn’t want those young children, to find out about “working.”
A big surprise that most of those kids will be on welfare or SS disability at 16 or 18 and then they will just call the landlord to fix stuff around the apartments, just like the James Evans and Nathan Bookman/Buffalo Butt.
The Chicago public schools figure they dont need tools for that, just babies.
I still think the suspension over a knife would be silly, but it is an important point to the story.
Inaccurate title. Screwdrivers and wrenches are not garden tools. Someone saw “garden-variety” and didn’t read further. Poor comprehension again.
Exactly so! He strayed from the official lesson plan, which was to show them an EBT card and an Obamaphone...
Do they teach SHOP in high school anymore?
We were taught welding, fabrication, carpentry, blacksmithing, leathercraft, lapidary, and all types of skills that would send a modern teacher into spastic fits.
The purpose of “zero tolerance” is to manufacture white criminals because it is not fair that blacks commit a disproportionate share of crimes.
Its not like the teacher showed them a pressure cooker.