Tuesday, November 20, 2012

State Ethics Commission Will Investigate Academic Punishment Doled Out by Declo Teacher

Posted By on Tue, Nov 20, 2012 at 9:08 AM

A formal complaint has now been lodged with the Idaho State Department of Education's Professional Standards Commission regarding a Declo teacher's unusual treatment of her students.

"I'm really limited on what I can say because it's a personnel issue," Galen Smyer, Cassia County School District superintendent told the Twin Falls Times-News. "The investigation on this is also ongoing in the district."

A Department of Education spokesperson characterized the investigation as "a long process."

ISDE spokeswoman Melissa McGrath told the Times-News that the Professional Standards Commisison's 19 members are appointed by the state board and traditionally meet five to six times a year.

“They investigate complaints and then take any necessary action if they find an individual has violated state ethics code,” she said.

Some parents said they were outraged at the Declo Elementary school teacher's decision that students who didn't meet goals would be "punished by fellow classmates."

Nine students reportedly didn't meet their accelerated reading goals. Those students had two options: miss recess or get their faces drawn on by other other students. Three skipped recess and six students chose the alternative.

"Not only was my son punished with bullying, but the other students were rewarded with bullying. They're being taught that bullying is OK and there is nothing wrong with this,” a parent told KMVT.

Meanwhile, the teacher was on disciplinary leave for one week but returned to her fourth-grade classroom on Nov. 12.

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