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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

What not to do: Pasco teacher shows "extremely poor judgment" in student dealings, superintendent says



We reported today on the activities of Zephyrhills High School math teacher John A. Patrick that have led to his imminent firing when the Pasco School Board meets Tuesday evening.

But even our story detailing Patrick's alleged actions, in which he's accused essentially of coming on to a female student he invited to his home under the guise of babysitting, can't get at all the things he's said to have done.

There's also a section in his termination letter that talks about his Facebook and texting relationships with this student and others — the type of dealings that most districts and teacher unions warn against because of the obvious implications even if nothing actually ever happens. Here's a piece (you can read the entire letter below):

Employee relations supervisor Elizabeth "Kuhn advised you that upon further review of your public Facebook postings, she learned that you are still Facebook 'friends' with current students. You stated that you did not want to do anything to chance your Facebook page. Additionally, you were asked about postings on your Facebook page regarding events titled 'Live Music with Beer and Wine Specials' at the Village Wine Shop, your wine store, and 'Wine by the Glass, Beer by the Bottle, and Music by the Earful.' When you were informed of concerns regarding these postings because you are 'friends' with current students and/or individuals who are not twenty-one years old, you stated that you saw no problem with these postings." 

Patrick stands to get the punishment that many readers already have expressed he deserves. But how much damage does action like this do to the teaching profession, which already is under attack by lawmakers for very different reasons?

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 26, 2011 9:52am]


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