Skip to comments.Teacher Accused of Ordering Student to be Dunked in Pool
Posted on 12/21/2005 11:22:35 AM PST by ShadowDancer
Teacher Accused of Ordering Student to be Dunked in Pool
Web-posted Dec 21, 2005
By STEPHEN FRYE
Of The Oakland Press
BIRMINGHAM - A middle school teacher has been charged with two misdemeanors after allegedly punishing a student by ordering classmates to repeatedly dunk him in the school's swimming pool.
Michael Peter Zangkas, 54, of West Bloomfi eld Township could be arraigned as early as today on two misdemeanor warrants, which were issued Tuesday by the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office and sworn to by a Beverly Hills police detective.
Zangkas, a physical education teacher at Berkshire Middle School in the Birmingham School District, is charged with assault and battery as well as contributing to the delinquency of children. The two counts are misdemeanors, said Oakland County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Deborah Carley. Zangkas faces up to 93 days in jail.
Zangkas is suspended from the school district, where he has been employed since 1987. He taught both social studies and physical education.
The punishment of the student, a 13-year-old male eighth-grader, was on Dec. 8 after the pupil had allegedly been disruptive with a substitute teacher, Carley said. The boy was not injured.
A message seeking comment left at Zangkas' home was not returned.
The boy's mother made a complaint to the Beverly Hills Public Safety Department that day as well as to the district, which suspended Zangkas on Dec. 9.
"This is a new one," Carley said. "You're sending your kids to school to be monitored and kept safe by teachers, and not to be abused by them.
"This is dangerous and reckless behavior. It's shocking to me that a teacher would resort to this behavior and drag other people into it as well."
Carley said the teacher ordered five other pupils to administer the punishment, prompting the contributing to the delinquency charge. The other students will not be charged, the chief deputy prosecutor said.
"He tells them to throw the victim in the pool and dunk him," Carley said.
Marcia Wilkinson, community relations director for the district, said Zangkas was suspended the day after the incident was reported to the school.
Both Zangkas and the pupil disciplined reported what happened to the principal that afternoon. A letter explaining the investigation was sent home to parents.
Zangkas, who was named social studies teacher of the year for 2004-05 by the Ezra Parker Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, has had no discipline problems while with the district, Wilkinson said.
The teacher has been in the news before. In 1999, he shared a $150,000 lottery win with a friend, and in 2003, he was featured in area newspapers for using the stock market to teach students about math and money.
His suspension is with pay, as mandated by union contracts. Before his status is determined by school offi cials, a complete investigation will be completed by the district.
"There are fi rm guidelines that all staff members follow in working with students and in handling any disciplinary issues," Wilkinson said. "If these allegations are true, that would definitely be an unacceptable way to address such a situation. This is definitely something we are taking very seriously."
He is a great teacher and that is why he will probably get fired or else if he is smart he will quit.
Another PE "teacher" turns out to be a thug with a whistle. These guys are usually washed-up ex-high school players who never got over being a bully their senior year.
No harm no foul.
Lawbreakers in Alnwick, England are punished in the ducking stool.
Middle schools do not have swimming pools. My middle school did a nautorium, though. We had swimming class in the nautorium.
BTW, our swimming coach was kind of mean. He probably dunked a few kids now and then.
I would have gone to detention rather than drink that sloop. 8-)
Heh.. me too. I think, since he didn't finish it, he ended up in detention anyway...
My little girl dearly loves her P.E. teacher and he, her. She's disabled so her program is worked around what she can and can't do, physically. It's her favorite class.
..and Social Studies teachers.
Heh... my husband comes from a long line of math teachers ;~D
I'll never forget her that's for sure. :-)
Some parents don't give a happy d@mn about correcting their kid's behavior and when the kid's finally punished, it's ALWAYS someone else's fault.
If the mother was interested in the kid's schooling, she'd have made it a point to know each of her child's teachers and made sure they connect her face with her child.
I always thought kids went to school to learn. Wow, I was mistaken.
McCain's going to be all over this one!
PE? He should have made the whole class run gassers instead.
For those who don't know, gassers are runs across the football field. Sideline to hash mark, touch line, run back, run to second hashmark, touch line, back. That's 1.
Birmingham's one of if not the richest school districts in Michigan.
In basketball they're called suicides and I love making the kids do them. Hahahaha