Sunday, September 08, 2013

Did He Do The Right Thing?

I say yes:
The Sacramento City Unified School District has gone to court to uphold the firing of a veteran McClatchy High School teacher who got in a fight with a student during a physical education class.

Jerry Glaviano said he battled the student out of self-defense, that he was attacked when he tried to break up a fight between the youth and another boy during his sixth-period physical education class on Jan. 29.

Glaviano, 58, who stands 5-foot-7 and weighs 120 pounds, came out of the fracas bloodied, battered and dazed. The student, who was at least 6 feet tall and weighed more than 200 pounds, had a tooth loosened in the altercation. He also sustained a bite to his arm.

Sacramento City Unified officials took statements from the two combatants, as well as from eight students who witnessed the fight and generally supported the teacher's version of events. Two weeks later, they still fired Glaviano, a 28-year veteran with the district, all of it at McClatchy High.

Glaviano appealed the termination to a Commission on Professional Competence, and the three-member panel voted unanimously last month to reinstate him. The commission said that his motive in trying to break up a fight and protect another student was "praiseworthy."

The district disagreed, and then filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court to overturn the commission's decision. On Aug. 27, Judge Allen H. Sumner refused to issue an order requested by the district to block the reinstatement, although the judge said the commission exceeded its jurisdiction by saying Glaviano should get his old job back. Sumner ruled the district "retains the authority to determine his specific assignment."

Glaviano is now on paid administrative leave pending a scheduled Feb. 7 hearing on the merits of the case, in Sumner's courtroom. The district intends to pursue its aggressive effort to fire Glaviano.
There's much more information here.

Can you imagine sending your kid to school with the expectation that the staff there would not defend him or her from physical harm from another student?


EdD said...

Darren, I'm surprised that you must have omitted a crucial part of this story. I'm sure that the teachers' union was right there for Mr. Glaviano defending him and making sure that his rights were protected.

KauaiMark said...

Isn't this very similar to the bus driver incident not intervening because of "policy" when three kids were pounding on one kid on his bus?

Personally, I've only had to break up one fist fight between two 5th graders in 10yrs subbing. It never occurred to me that I shouldn't.

(I might have 2nd thoughts getting between two 200lb, six footers though. I don't get medical from the school)


maxutils said...

It's not worse, because it doesn't involve loss of job, but the policy that both parties in a fight receive automatic 5 day suspensions is similarly bad. A student should be able to defend him or herself without fear of recriminations. It's the job of the VPs to figure out what happened and discipline appropriately. They just don't want to.

Ellen K said...

A couple of years back, a twelve year old got in a shoving match and was stopped by a 50 plus year old substitute. In the process the sub's arm was broken. The girl was black and was suspended in alternative school. Her mother went to our local black radio stations which protested loudly and long. The sub, who was not insured and who had a long and positive history with the district, was fired. The girl continued on her way and I have no doubt she's a frequent flyer in the alternative school at the high school level today. For teachers you are damned if you do, damned if you don't.