Saturday, January 07, 2006

Taxpayers should not foot this bill

An attorney for a state teacher's union says a school district has no business firing two of its teachers because they repeatedly had sexual relations in a classroom.
McKeesport officials have hired a lawyer to investigate whether the school district should fire two fourth-grade teachers who had sex in a classroom several years ago while other teachers stood watch at the door, officials said Thursday.

The district placed Patrick Collins, 54, former teachers union president, and Angela DiBattista, 50, on paid leave Wednesday while attorney Carl Beard of Altoona conducts the investigation.

Collins and DiBattista admitted they had sex inside her Cornell Intermediate School classroom several times and in a school bathroom between 1999 and 2001, according to an arbitrator's report obtained by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

In Pennsylvania, the school code states teachers can be fired for "conduct which offends the morals of the Commonwealth and is a bad example to the youth ..."

In August, arbitrator William J. Miller Jr ordered the district to reinstate Collins with back pay, ruling that he had wrongly been singled out for discipline. Miller dismissed allegations Collins had harassed DiBattista.

Pennsylvania State Education Association lawyer Robert Abraham said McKeesport lacks grounds to fire the teachers. The union represented Collins.

"They sat on this for nine months, and now the only reason they are doing anything about it is because of the publicity it will cause," Abraham said. "It was a personal matter between two teachers that had no effect on students, that had no effect on their ability to teach."

John Zoscak, DiBattista's attorney, said school officials had promised his client immunity in exchange for her testimony against Collins.

Personal matter between two teachers? No effect on their ability? Then what's the harassment hearing all about?

A little advice to the teachers: Get a room!

A little advice to the attorney: Get a brain.


Post a Comment

<< Home