"Can you meet me by the dumpster tonight?"
Seventeen cases of alleged teacher misconduct around Tampa Bay are on this week's agenda for the Education Practices Commission, including one involving a Pinellas middle school teacher accused of inappropriate behavior on campus and criminal behavior off.
According to this administrative complaint, Roy Scott Sachse, then a PE teacher at Morgan Fitzgerald Middle School in Largo, allegedly wrote a note to a female student in December 2006 which said, "Can you meet me by the dumpster tonight?" Earlier that year, Sachse, 48, was arrested for stealing a submarine sandwich, the complaint notes.
Sachse's case goes before the EPC this week. And if it approves this proposed settlement, Sachse will get two years probation.
Sachse told the Gradebook the note was an inside joke gone wrong, involving a student who was rumored to have kissed a boy behind the school's dumpster. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office investigated, and determined the matter was not criminal. Sachse said he decided to settle because "I wanted to put it behind me … the best way to get things to disappear is to let it disappear."
Since 1991, Sachse, a 22-year veteran, has been disciplined nine times at either the school or district level, according to district records. In May 2007, the school board suspended him for one day without pay for failing to report the theft charge to the district (the charges were dropped after he completed a pre-trail intervention program) and for reportedly calling another employee a "f---ing b----."
In April 2007, Morgan Fitzgerald principal William Corbett asked district officials via e-mail to transfer Sachse, citing "a long history of incidents involving very poor judgment at Fitzgerald with students and staff.” The sheriff's office report notes other cases where Sachse was accused of inappropriate language towards students, one of which is cited again in the state complaint. In each case, Sachse said the students did not hear him correctly or misinterpreted what he meant.
Sachse now teaches at John Hopkins Middle in St. Petersburg.
- Ron Matus, state education reporter