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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

How many chances do teachers get?



We know, we know. We at the Gradebook write variations on this post again and again. But as long as examples continue to surface, what are we supposed to do?

A Pinellas elementary school teacher who allegedly showed up on the first day of school with slurred speech and bloodshot eyes -- and who on "numerous occasions" was reportedly unable to walk in a straight line -- is among 31 Tampa Bay area teachers on the agenda for this week's Education Practices Commission meetings.

Also on the agenda: A Pinellas middle school teacher who, over the course of a single year, was formally counseled about 20 times for inappropriate language and behavior, including throwing a backpack at a student and hitting her with it.

According to this administrative complaint, the first teacher, Lisa Carol Jenkins, was teaching at Rio Vista Elementary during the 2006-07 school year when issues surfaced. The complaint alleges Jenkins "came to school dirty and with open sores," lost a noticeable amount of weight, offered painkillers to fellow teachers and sexually harassed a newly hired teacher.

The complaint says the district placed her on long-term leave in August 2006.

The second teacher, Susan A. Hedger, was at Largo Middle during the 2002-03 school year when she was counseled again and again, according to this administrative complaint. The complaint alleges that during the following year she knowingly violated FCAT testing procedures and made numerous inappropriate comments about students that included profanity and discussions of a sexual nature.

The complaint says the School Board suspended her for three days in May 2004.

Ron Matus, state education reporter


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:00am]


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