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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Firing Florida teachers: Two cases



In Florida, as in many other states, getting rid of teachers can prove a tough slog. Sarasota officials are finding that out the hard way.

The Herald-Tribune reports that an employment arbitrator isn't letting Sarasota fire a special education teacher accused of hitting, kicking, pushing and otherwise abusing her students. The district didn't properly warn Diana O'Neill of its concerns about her performance, the arbitrator said, and so she should keep her $80,000-a-year job.

"We were disappointed in the results," superintendent Lori White told the Herald-Tribune. But "you agree to abide by the decision."

Now the district just has to deal with parents who fear the teacher's return to the classroom.

Over in Seminole, meanwhile, superintendent Bill Vogel is having an easier time getting rid of a brand new teacher over much less serious charges.

My Fox Orlando reports that Vogel is pushing to remove first-year television and film teacher John Wolfe over things he wrote on his personal blog before he was ever hired. District officials deemed the content and language inappropriate for a teacher, the TV station reports.

Wolfe told My Fox Orlando that he was shocked and didn't understand what he did wrong.

So here's the rub. You can fire a teacher over personal comments made online during nonwork hours, but you can't fire a teacher who beat students in class. Anyone else see something wrong here?


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:34am]


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