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PUBLIC EMPLOYEES: Stop abuse of administrative leave

Letter by Lyle Laws, Puyallup on June 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm with 84 Comments »
June 8, 2012 12:31 pm

Now that taxpayers are in a cost-cutting mood, maybe it is time to do some research on paid administrative leave for government employees.

It is completely understandable why law enforcement officers are placed on paid leave while the facts are sorted out if they have fired their weapons in the line of duty. However, there are far too many instances in which public employees who have been removed from their jobs because of violations of work rules, incompetence or even alleged criminal activity continue to receive full pay for many months or even years. Why?

Almost without exception, public employee unions challenge dismissals and pursue legal activities that cause the proceedings to drag on and on, costing the public millions in legal fees.

Since workers in the private sector only receive two weeks notice, why wouldn’t limiting paid administrative leave to public employees to one month be fair on the condition that it was proven that it was a wrongful dismissal, the full amount of lost income would be paid?

Leave a comment Comments → 84
  1. charliebucket says:

    If it time to do some research please do it and then write again with some actual data, otherwise it just sounds like (more anti govt, more anti union, eyeroll) supposition and conspiracy theory. Same spin, different angle. yawn.

  2. The why is known as Due Process. Maybe you’ve heard about it.

  3. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Are you two related?

  4. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Lyle, I’d add to that the forfeiture of “back-pay” that is routinely given to public employees upon their return from illegal strikes.

  5. alindasue says:

    I think the key here is “alleged” criminal activity. I can see your point here regarding an established violation of work rules or proven criminal activity – those workers should be fired or at least put on suspension without pay – but some people are put on “administrative leave” during investigations just on the off-chance that the accusations might be true.

    For instance, a girl accuses a teacher of sexually molesting her. Two things could bring on the accusation: he could really have molested her or it sometimes happens that a student has other reasons to accuse a teacher, such as revenge for a bad grade or to deflect from something she did. Of course, IF the student is telling the truth, we can’t leave that teacher in contact with other students so he is pulled out of the classroom immediately, just in case. However, until – and if – the accusation is proven to be true, there is no actual grounds to fire him. If the accusations prove to be untrue, he should be able to return to work with no harm to his career. That is the type of situation that “paid administrative leave” is designed to handle and should continue to be an available option for.

  6. Fibonacci says:

    Here is good ole Lyle posting on a Friday afternoon again so people respond to his post all weekend. Hey Lyle, try posting some of your right wing crappola on another day.

  7. billybushey says:

    Agree with alindasue: As a front line delegate, I’ve lost track of the number of false, overblown and unfounded charges I’ve defended members from. Keep in mind, when you get jammed up by law enforcement, you have the right to an attorney, taxpayer funded, to protect your rights. Do you want that to go away as well? If you think that;s another useless public expense, check with the local chapter of The Innocence Project.

  8. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    I agree with Lyle on this issue. Admin leave is used too freely, where employees (particular school employees are placed on leave and remain there for months when an investigation usually takes a couple days to figure out.

    Even if your example of teacher sexual misconduct is used as grounds for using admin leave, the issue lies with how the teachers conduct with students raises red flags that make it appear that that teacher did do it if it was a false allegation. There has to be forensic evidence to coincide with the stated allegation, and without such evidence that sides with the statements a student makes, it typically is not worth prosecuting the teacher for. Teachers have to be EXTREMELY aware of their conduct with students to avoid possible false allegations and district policy requires teachers to be aware of this issue of false allegations and how to avoid it.

  9. “Teachers have to be EXTREMELY aware of their conduct with students to avoid possible false allegations”

    Now THERE is a classic line. False allegations are FALSE and have nothing to do with teacher conduct. Have you stopped beating your spouse?

    Lyle is out with his regular Friday Baseless Assertions letter, of which he knows absolutely nothing. If incompetance was fineable, Lyle would be paying for the right to be published.

  10. alindasue says:

    cclngthr,

    Even if a sexual molestation accusation from a student is totally baseless, the school has to act on the premise that it MIGHT be true. That means taking the teacher out of the classroom, despite no other “red flags” being raised, until the situation can be sorted out. Should a teacher really have to go that time without pay while the district and/or courts sort it out?

  11. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    Teachers have to avoid the possibility of a sexual allegation accusation, true and false.

    Schools have to assume all allegations are true initially. They instruct us in boundary invasion training that we have to avoid all possibilities of sexual misconduct by conducting ourselves in a way that prevents both types of allegation. If we don’t prevent such allegations, we set ourselves, and the district up for possible allegations.

    Might seem cold, but it is reality now.

  12. cclngthr says:

    LarryH,
    I suggest you research boundary invasion policies. They were created on the premise to reduce/eliminate the possibility of allegations to be made.

    Alinda,
    Lawsuits are possible on both sides, true and false, and the school district is involved in every case.

    Most of the investigations are concluded within a week of starting the investigation. It don’t take a month to figure out if it is true or false.

  13. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    The sooner we privatize state services and schools the sooner this kind of waste will end.

    Can’t you see the trend that all of these problems lead back to the public sector unions and their paid democrat officials that allow them to screw the taxpayer in return for donations that came from YOUR taxdollars. Stop the corruption now.

  14. “Are you two related? “

    What a great job of providing facts that back up the original claim. Truly, you are an intellectual giant.

  15. SwordofPerseus says:

    Taxed-why do you hate America?

    Do you like the idea of GE and GM and Exxon owning everything, including your children? One tv show, one news(joke) broadcast. Corporate logo tattooed on your forehead, an RFID chip in your jaw bone.

    Nice vision you have for the US. A world of grey and coal smog and work camps and poor houses and sweat shops in downtown Tacoma.

    I suppose you think we should log Mt Rainier too. That is where this leads.

  16. alindasue says:

    cclngthr said, “I suggest you research boundary invasion policies. They were created on the premise to reduce/eliminate the possibility of allegations to be made.”

    They reduce the the situations where sexual impropriety may happen or may be interpreted as happening. It does nothing to stop false allegations.

    cclngthr said, “Lawsuits are possible on both sides, true and false, and the school district is involved in every case.”

    True – and that is why it is important for the district to put a teacher on “paid administrative leave” at the very accusation of impropriety. That covers the district from both sides of the issue.

  17. Taxed – why did your spouse take that union teaching job when there are several private schools in the area that would hire her?

    Oh yeah, I know. Money, benefits and pension.

  18. lylelaws says:

    Alindasue,

    Automatically placing teachers on paid administrative leave simply on the basis of a student claim without substantial evidence is wrong for a couple of reasons.

    As you pointed out, a student may be acting out of hate or revenge, but more importantly, contrary to what you said, a teacher’s reputation can be seriously damaged because by such a procedure, because most people will conclude that it must be true or the action wouldn’t have been taken.

    In the nearly thirty years that I served as a teacher and an administrator in the Tacoma School District I never learned about a teacher being removed for a sexual impropriety, and remember, once someone’s reputation has been tarnished there is no way to undo the situation in the minds of minds of many people.

  19. cclngthr says:

    alindasue,
    The boundary invasion policies districts now have can reduce false allegations because it requires teachers and school staff members to be very aware of their conduct and avoid any chance of false allegations from taking place.

    If a student does make a claim of sexual abuse, with the boundary invasion in place, teachers are forbidden (by the policy) from behaving in any form that is construed as sexual abuse or leading up to sexual abuse. Teachers have to distance themselves from students and refuse to discuss any personal and sexual behavior without prior approval of the district and parents. It makes it easier to spot false allegations.

    With lawsuits; even with false allegations, it is very possible that a someone can sue the district in cases of false allegations by claiming the teacher put him/herself in a position where it was possible for the false allegation to be made. If a student is mad because of a bad grade, and makes a false sexual abuse allegation, the teacher’s conduct would not support such claim if they watched their conduct closely enough. Teachers are basically required by the policy to avoid any possibility of false allegation by keeping their conduct in check, and not be alone with students, and documenting everything, particularly if any hint of sexual issue comes up.

    I personally prefer another staff member in the room if it is brought up.

    This is something where I feel hidden cameras in the classroom can be used.

    Paid leave, particularly cases like recent sexual abuse cases should be short and decisions whether to terminate employment is made within a short time. Cases like Mike Barnett, and other teachers who have misconduct allegations made have remained the staff member on leave for months, where the decision should be within a week to decide. It should take no longer than 2 weeks to complete such investigation and clear/terminate the employee. I remember Barnett was placed on leave in November and he wasn’t terminated/resigned until September of the following year. He was paid from November through August pay periods. That is 9 months.

  20. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Keep in mind, when you get jammed up by law enforcement, you have the right to an attorney, taxpayer funded, to protect your rights. Do you want that to go away as well?

    LOL, another leftist Constitutional scholar. I’ve read Brewer v. Williams – suggest you do so too. In the mean time, maybe you could point to where in the Constitution or subsequent ruling of the SCOTUS, a right of paid administrative leave is guaranteed.

    More yummy apples and oranges please.

  21. cclngthr says:

    Lyle,

    I remember a case about 2 years ago where a group of female students in the Bethel SD made a false claim of sexual misconduct of a substitute teacher. I remember an article after he was cleared of the allegations, he chose to leave the education field because in his mind, the allegation is a permenent black mark on his record and restoring his reputation was impossible. He chose to surrender his teaching certificate not long after that.

    Unlike you, I have seen multiple cases of teachers being removed of sexual impropriety, all true, and I feel teachers have to be extremely cautious of their conduct around all young people.

  22. cclngthr says:

    lylelaws,
    Unlike when you were at TSD, where misconduct was not investigated very thoroughly, the legislature now has enacted laws that require school staff to fully investigate any claim of child abuse by school staff, and inform the police and OSPI regarding such allegation and the staff member is immediately removed from the classroom. This change was put in place in 1995, but revised in 2007, where police and OSPI must be immediately informed of such abuse.

    However, I do agree with you that the time spent on administrative leave is too long. It should not take months to decide whether to have the staff member leave permanently or return to the classroom.

    That being said, I feel if any staff member has any allegation of child abuse, true or false, that person put themselves in a position where the allegation was possible. They have to be aware that any allegation tarnishes the credibility of that person, and IF an allegation was made, including false allegations, their reputation is permanently damaged and cannot be repaired in the eyes of the public.

  23. DevilDog2019 says:

    I had LL when I went to Stadium (Class of ’87). I knew of quite a few of the girls that would give Male teachers shoulder and back rubs. He had a blind eye. This crap has been going on a long time. This is just like Priests and Alter boys. It was going on under our noses. But the difference is between grade school and high School. Priests used their position from the start to get what they want. In High School (I am not claiming that this is every time) quite a few of the girls know how to get a Man’s attention. And they will think that they are controlling the situation, when in fact, they had been manipulated. Also back in the 80’s there was a lot more touching. The students knew who was getting the “Easy A.”

  24. “Now that taxpayers are in a cost-cutting mood”

    First off speak for yourself.
    Second that ‘cost cutting’ is destroying Europe, why do you morons what to do it here?

  25. Bandito says:

    They “want to do it here” to convince the public that economic recovery isn’t working. If the economy was to recover under Obama they wouldn’t win the White House.

  26. Bandito says:

    “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

    -Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell.

  27. Bandito says:

    Shouldn’t economic recovery be the single most important thing…..?????

  28. took14theteam says:

    Why don’t you ask LaryH, he knows everything…..

    ;-)

  29. It should be…..and for Americans it is. For the right wing, the nation comes in a distant 3rd or fourth, party and power comes in way ahead of the nation.

  30. Bandito says:

    Union busting seems to be more important than economic recovery and job creation in the mind of the Right wing conservative.

  31. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Define “union busting”. Better yet, tell us how limiting paid administrative leave has the first nano thing to do with your definition of “union busting”. (Sorta’ like the leap you unionistas take for giving an employee a “choice” (cue heavenly music) of whether or not they should have to contribute an appreciable percentage of their wage/ salary to an organization with whom they do not share a like philosophy, or represent their own interests.)

    Heck, what do any of your posts in this thread have to do with the topic.

    I wasn’t aware that one had to be a member of a union in order to be placed on paid administrative leave.

  32. lylelaws says:

    DevilDog2019, (Class of ’87)

    When you commented that you had LL at Stadium, and that he turned a “blind eye” were you referring to Lyle Laws? If so, and if you would like to put your money where your mouth is, I will be happy to bet you any amount you may have in piggy bank that I never worked at Stadium. If you were not talking about me, I think you owe an me an explanation. Do you have a response?

    Well?

  33. cclngthr says:

    DevilDog2019,
    Yes, it has gone along far too long. Like Catholic priests, teachers have a similar issue of not keeping themselves in check. Up until 1995, not much was done regarding the issue. I started working at TSD in 1983, and not much was said about the issue. It was in 1995 when the legislature required teachers to have formal training and ordered to report such allegations, and in 2007, schools started requiring teachers to conduct themselves in a way that reduces the claims.

    However, that said, administrative leave is used incorrectly, and it is currently used to continue paying the teacher who has allegations made against them while paying a second teacher to cover their class until the original teacher is terminated or resigns. I feel the admin leave issue should be a maximum of 2 weeks and after that time, if the teacher is not cleared of the allegations, termination and banning that person from all schools must commence.

  34. vox, how old are you, 12?

  35. spotted1 says:

    ccl, you, are should be, well aware that it does not matter how much training a teacher has, if a student wishes to make a false claim, all it takes is one person to think that he or she is telling the truth and an investigation starts. And that is exactly as it should be. However, a baseless accusation is exactly that, baseless and without evidence.

    That being said, all it takes is a group of students to concoct a story of abuse or otherwise, stick to it, and the teacher has no chance in this society. The teacher could be completely innocent of any wrong-doing and could still lose his or her job based on the actions of the student or group of students. Worse, children make accusations and the parents do not question their children.

    No amount of training will protect a teacher from a vindictive and intelligent group of students who make up a story and stick with it. Regardless of the investigative outcome.

  36. lylelaws says:

    DevilDog2019,

    Why do I think your moniker of DevilDog2019, doesn’t mean that you are or have ever been a Marine. Why?

    I served in the USCG but four members of my family served in the USMC during time of war and none of them would have ever hidden behind a phoney name and taken cowardly shots a someone because real Marines know about honor and backbone. Your response?

    Well?

  37. Bandito says:

    Lyle Laws- The union stands behind their members when it is alleged that they have violated work rules, incompetence or even criminal activity. This is where the union dues pay off for the member. These allegations need to be proven first before that employee can be terminated. Can you imagine how unfair it would be if the employee lost wages while trying to defend him/herself against untrue malicious allegations? Dale Washam comes to mind.

  38. lylelaws says:

    Bandito,

    You made your point very well, and I agree that if it is determinated that a worker was wrongfully removed he or she should be paid in full for any loss of income. But if people are on paid leave for a year or more and it turns out that the removal was justified, shouldn’t they have to repay the money?

    I think a big part of the problem is that the facts are sorted out and dealt with in a timely manner

  39. took14theteam says:

    vox, I will help you out. Since kluw is in fact 12 herself (based on what we read here) she just wanted to know if you would be her playmate. She doesn’t understand “grown-up” talk as is evidenced by her comments.

  40. cclngthr says:

    spotted1,

    I am aware of that issue, but I also feel the teacher has to conduct themselves in a manner that prevents false claims from happening and makes it easier to spot false claims and refute those claims effectively. I might sound cold hearted toward kids in this issue, but I have to consider there are true and factual allegations that MUST remove all teachers who have committed such crimes quickly and permanently; and when we take this into account, and make it perceived to the victims that they are not taken seriously, and too long of time is taken to remove the teacher who has committed such crime, fewer students who have experienced such abuse will come forward with true abuse allegations.

    I have had the opportunity to be in the position (more than once) where I have had to deal with kids who have been assaulted by teachers, and I feel it takes far too long to remove teachers from the payroll when they commit such crimes. The investigative process also takes far to long, also making it perceived to the actual victims that they are not to be believed.

    If you want to see this perspective, get a copy of The Boys of St. Vincent; a made for TV movie about childhood sexual abuse and look in part 1 and part 2 (it is a 2 part movie) which details how the victims were abused by priests and how law enforcement responded to the children’s allegations.

  41. cclngthr says:

    Bandito,
    However, when a employee has allegations that are also a crime against a person whom they have authority over, or potential authority over, removing that person swiftly, and an investigation by an independent party who decides if it is warranted to charge the individual.

    That said, I also believe it is unwarranted when a employee is placed on leave longer than 2 weeks time. If by chance the investigation takes longer, either decide if it is best to terminate the employment or have the person return to work under constant supervision.

    With some cases, I believe it is best to terminate the employment even if the case is false because such allegations permanently tarnish that individual and he/she will be seen as such by those they work with.

  42. Bandito says:

    Innocent until proven guilty.

  43. lylelaws says:

    I strongly disagree with the idea that in some cases it would be a good idea to terminate some employees even if the allegations prove to be false.

    If you were the sole support of your family and would probably have to move out of the state because no other school district would hire you in Washington, how fair would that be?

    And by the way, I haven’t noticed anyone commenting about what, if any consequences, students (Some of whom could be old enough to vote) should face for tainting or destroying somene’s reputation.

  44. lylelaws says:

    Bandito,

    You nailed it “Innocent until proven guilty”

    If a student had made an accusation against me I wouldn’t have put my tail between my legs and cut and run. I would have roared back and fought until the last pea was picked.

    No things in life are more important than honor and self-respect.

  45. cclngthr says:

    Bandito and lylelaws,

    It is not that simple (cut and dry) to keep a person who’s reputation is tarnished (particularly a sex abuse case) on the payroll. You would be continually asked why that person remains working under that condition, and why that person should remain working. Parents, and community members now have access to teacher records/personnel files and what is in there can be seen by those requesting such documents; among other means of research on the teacher.

    Lyle,
    What you don’t consider, is when you fight against charges with such force, you are also claiming that the majority of claims made against teachers are false (even those proven to be true) and when you do this, those who make such allegations are believed to be also false and questioning the true victims makes it appear that they also are not victims, persons who had nothing done to them; something that has gone along too long.

    What I have mentioned before, is if the teacher conducts themselves in an appropriate manner that they avoid the possibility of false allegations from coming forward is best.

    It is not always innocent until proven guilty. Certain issues make it always guilty in the eyes of other people. I remember a case a couple years ago that a male substitute teacher was falsely accused of sexual misconduct in the Bethel School District and although the students were criminally charged with harassment, the teacher himself felt he was not able to retain his reputation after the allegations were published. He surrendered his teaching certificate, resigned and went onto better things.

    We can’t always assume there should be trust between teacher and student, or vise/versa.

  46. lylelaws says:

    cclngthr,

    Are you saying that if a student or a group of students falsely claimed that you had made sexual advances, you would just roll with the punch, go along with being put on paid leave without a fight, and hope that might not be found guilty?

    Please tell me something. How does someone disprove something in the eyes of the public?

    And please tell me what consequences a student or a group of students should face if somehow you could prove that the charges were false?

    Would it be OK with you if you were offered an apology after your reputation and your right to continue teaching and supporting your family had been taken away?

  47. cclngthr says:

    lylelaws

    Having been a part of actual sexual abuse investigations of people (both teachers and other people) I feel it is more important to swiftly remove the teacher under any allegation involving such conduct to protect all children. Such conduct often is thought of as untrue and construed as automatically false by many victims. Many victims refuse to disclose such conduct because they feel they will never be believed because of people feel they are fabricating the claims and a blind eye is taken on the issue.

    Current research on the issue of disclosure states than about 1/3-1/2 of the total number of such assaults are reported to authorities. The 1/2 to 2/3rds of unreported cases actually do more harm than good because these kids who don’t report often have serious issues they face without proper intervention and treatment. Some do become abusers themselves.

    I feel teachers can avoid the possibility of having false allegations by conducting themselves in a way that separates them from students emotionally, physically.

    IF the allegations were false, we also have to realize that current harassment laws do not offer a stiff sentence, as the case I mentioned earlier where a substitute was falsely accused. Not much can be done legally here because such allegations are considered as simple harassment.

    I would not accept such apology from a student who has made a false allegation. That student has shown conduct that they should not be trusted, and should be under constant supervision due to actions that cause severe distrust. I likely would permanently leave the field.

  48. I feel teachers can avoid the possibility of having false allegations by conducting themselves in a way that separates them from students emotionally, physically.

    Well sure…..but teaching defensively removes the ability to be spontaneous, responding to the needs of each individual student. Sometimes students do need a hug.

    Of course, there is something to be said for not being stupid and putting oneself at unnecessary risk.

  49. The court of public opinion can be brutal. We see it right here. People will line up on both sides of an issue where only one side can be correct. Even after being found innocent the accused will always carry the burden of having been accused. There will always be that doubt. And yet we have to be leery because we have all seen that case where someone who comes across as being totally trustworthy, turns out to have a hidden dark side.

    The union has a responsibility to see that their members who are accused of wrongdoings and maintain their innocence, have the resources to defend against the accusations. That’s what they pay for.

    The question seems to be how long does the accused stay on the payroll? The answer depends on how we apply the presumption of innocence.

  50. cclngthr says:

    Bandito,

    That is exactly my point. The court of public opinion can be brutal. We see it right here. People will line up on both sides of an issue where only one side can be correct. Even after being found innocent the accused will always carry the burden of having been accused. There will always be that doubt. And yet we have to be leery because we have all seen that case where someone who comes across as being totally trustworthy, turns out to have a hidden dark side.

    We have to be extremely cautious regarding our conduct these days because one of the first assumptions is a sex offense.

    As beerboy said Well sure…..but teaching defensively removes the ability to be spontaneous, responding to the needs of each individual student. Sometimes students do need a hug. I think we now have to ignore the individual needs of students and also ignore the students problems, out of fear that we will be accused of being a pervert. Unfortunately, this makes teaching harder and not much is done to meet the individual needs of kids.

    I happen to like kids and care for them. However, a caring attitude is undesired in this age where we have multiple cases where caring is seen as a tool to allow perversion to become evident and make it easier for kids to be assaulted.

    That being said, I also disagree with you on how unions maintain innocence and attempt to keep perverts in the classroom. Questioning kids is a very tricky issue and about 1/2 of the cases go unreported because kids don’t think they will be believed when they are cross examined by the defense.Cross examining the kids has to be done VERY CAREFULLY because it easily is assumed that nothing will be done about the case, particularly when actual abuse has occurred. I also think they prolong the investigation process.

  51. Back to the original issue of Lyle’s latest baseless assertion:

    “However, there are far too many instances in which public employees who have been removed from their jobs because of violations of work rules, incompetence or even alleged criminal activity continue to receive full pay for many months or even years. Why?”

    How many is “far too many”, Lyle?

    Do you have any data to back up what you are saying or is this just your latest in a long list of “Lyle’s opinions don’t require facts”?

  52. cclngthr says:

    Bandito,

    As with false allegations, my nephew was accused of a sex offense in a divorce case. At the time of the divorce, he was a licensed counselor and the accusation of the offense by his now ex wife lead him to leave the field of counseling because people will see the accusation as a permanent black mark, and a bias in certain areas of counseling.

    Although CPS and the courts cleared him of the allegation, and proved his now ex wife had been the problem due to mental issues dealing with unreported sexual abuse by her father, he felt it was best to completely leave counseling altogether.

    As for his 3 kids, they had to experience multiple sexual assault investigations and I feel although they were not physically sexually assaulted; the questioning they had to go through and physical exams are similar to actual sexual abuse. I have heard they still have problems due to that.

  53. More public employee bashing. Stop the hate!

  54. Unions do not attempt to keep perverts in the classroom. They attempt to keep the innocent from being unjustly punished. Without union backing fearful people will end up on a perpetual witch hunt, looking for perverts, ruining innocent lives.

    Beerboy is correct, unfortunately.

    But this letter is about money. Can we afford to financially er on the side of innocence or should money dictate our sense of justice?

  55. cclngthr says:

    LarryH,
    That anwer to your question is easy to find. Look up teacher misconduct (easiest to find) and determine when the employee was placed on leave and how long they remain on leave. Schools in New Youk City have special rooms for teachers on paid leave where they do nothing. The rooms are called rubber rooms and about 700 teachers are on paid leave, often for a year at a time.

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/nyc_has_about_700_teachers_on.html

    A couple cases locally are:
    Mike Barnett:
    Placed on leave in November and resigned in September of the following year.
    John McDonald:
    Left his 4th grade class in October and resigned in July of the following year.
    Harold Wright:
    Placed on leave in Febuary and resigned in late July.
    Jennifer Rice:
    Had MULTIPLE accounts where she was placed on leave, the last one in Tacoma began in April of 07 and she was fired in July.

  56. cclngthr says:

    Bandito,
    I think unions do try to keep perverts in the classroom by how they expect the cross examination to be in a certain form which does make it seem as it is the fault of the victim.

    As far as money goes, is it appropriate to pay a employee wages for not working and pay a second employee wages to cover the first employees work while on extended leave?

  57. Under these circumstances, yes. Which means that I disagree with the premise of this letter. Justice is not without its costs.

    Your conclusion that “try to keep perverts in the classroom” is merit-less, ignorant, and fitting someone on the fringe of their political persuasion, or someone with an ax to grind.

  58. …..that UNIONS “try…..

  59. cclngthr says:

    As far as witch hunts, I don’t think this is the norm.

    As Lyle mentioned in the letter, public employees are offered contracts that make it very difficult to fire an employee, and lengthly administrative leaves are required because the process to terminate the employee requires a lengthly process that requires cross examination that is more about the employee than the safety and welfare of the client.

    I think the contracts should require safety/welfare of clients over the rights of employees.

  60. cclngthr says:

    Bandito,

    I must ask you this:

    Is it more appropriate to cross examine clients with the assumption that they are fabricating the claims and making it appear to them they are not to be believed which causes more people to not report actual abuse claims? Under your proposal, yes, the issue of people not reporting increases dramatically, which causes more harm than having been reported, and support for that person given to them.

    Is it also cost effective when agencies are given a set budget they have to work with that does not allow costs associated with extended leaves where double dipping is necessary to do the same work 1 person should be doing? Where is this extra money coming from?

  61. lylelaws says:

    As old-fashioned and out-dated is it may seem today, when I started teaching in 1961, schools maintained much higher standards for acceptable dress, grooming, and behavior from students and teachers.

    Male teachers wore shirts and ties, students were sent home to change if the way they were dressed or groomed created a distraction, and yes, boys who bullied, or started fights were sometimes given the choice of a whack on the rear or a three-day suspension followed by a parent conference. (the whack was almost always chosen).

    My how times have changed. Reasonable standards are a distant memory, using the paddle would be considered cruel and unusual punnishment, and taxpayers are paying dearly for a second-rate school system.

    done the way of

  62. LL = 30 years of trying to warp the minds of innocent children if his letters are any indication. It is very sad indeed that statements without proof become the truth when repeated often enough. For those on the extreme right often enough is only one time.

  63. Although I respected corporal punishment from the standpoint of avoiding it, I’ve know of students who were bruised and blistered from an aray of weapons created by sadomasochistic teachers and principals. Much like John McCain said about waterboarding, swats didn’t serve the purpose as those students repeated their behavior.

    I don’t care if a male teacher wears a tie and in fact, I wouldn’t, considering that a tie can be a great tool for a person who is attacking you.

    Yes, in 1963, the teachers tried to change fashion by enforcing haircuts, just like they tried to change pegged pants, and “DA” haircuts in the 1950s. Remember, Elvis Presley was the devil, until he started recording religious albums. Silly crapolla that has nothing to do with teaching. Let it go.

    The only think second rate about today’s education is the lack of support from the community and parents.

  64. cclngthr says:

    lylelaws,

    Back then, not much was done regarding abuse either. It wasn’t reported most of the time; often accepted as a part of life and acceptable, particularly with male victims.

    I do agree with Larry on the use of coporal punishment. A lot of the time, it was misused to the point where it became abuse.

    In 1995, the legislature required teachers to have training on child abuse and focus on the issue of abuse was required. This was 4 years after you left TSD. Did it occur in the schools? Yes it did. It also continued up until 2007 after the state started questioning why teachers continued to work after multiple reports of abusive conduct. This is why the boundary invasion policies schools now have in place require staff to be aware of their conduct and also are mandated to report it to law enforcement. Although it continues to happen, it is now reported and teachers are asked to leave quicker. Even still, the administrative leave process is abused because the old ways are still used.

  65. If it’s reasonable to suspect that the accused may be guilty, it’s also reasonable to suspect that the accuser may be fabricating. This is why we have testimony. Hopefully the truth will prevail. Hopefully.

    No one wants a pervert to go free and no one wants a false accuser to prevail. Justice is not always easy.

  66. took14theteam says:

    For the love of god BTDT Mr. Big Head. Do you have to ruin EVERY letter?

    Just asking…….

  67. lylelaws says:

    Publico,

    If you would really like to know about someone who warped the minds of young people, does the name Terry Bergeson ring a bell?

    In 1969, the same year I began serving as assistant principal at then Gault Junior High School after teaching there for eight years, Terry Bergeson was assigned there as a counselor and she and her ilk did more to undermine firm but fair discipline than the ACLU could ever done.

    In one instance when a student had been sent to my office for the third time and I told her that I was going to ask her parents to come in for a conference, she jumped out of her chair, yelled “Mrs Bergeson is right, you don’t know how to deal with kids”, stormed and out and slammed the door of of my office..

    Her her superiors came out and she offerred a shallow apology of sorts.

    Wow, how professional.

  68. cclngthr says:

    Bandito,
    However, when we assume the accuser is fabricating, what happens is other people who are truely abused will not come forward because of the questioning leads them not to tell. It is extremely difficult to question kids about such abuse; something I have had to do more than once; and often the accuser refuses to testify. It is said that at least 50% of cases of such abuse go unreported because of the scrutiny they face while being cross examined. A case last year caused a young woman to consider jumping off a building because she was going to be cross examined by the defendent; who was trying to prove she was fabricating the allegations.

    That said, there are victims who cannot testify, particularly with disabled kids. They have to rely on other forms of testimony to even consider charging the individual.

  69. lylelaws says:

    LarryHill,

    Would please elaborate on some of the horror stories you referred to or as usual, are you just making things up as you go along?

  70. Should we assume that the accuser is always correct?

  71. …that the accused is always guilty?

  72. Just because it’s difficult for the young accusers to testify?

  73. took14theteam says:

    Yes sock puppet, we should.

  74. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    Wow, with all the Lyle Laws bashing going on here, I’m tempted to go back to the preceding LTE and rip into Bambi Bin Lademan.

  75. cclngthr says:

    took14theteam,
    I am guessing Bandito wants every person who accuses others to not be heard/believed. After having been a part of several investigations where kids HAD been abused, and on a few of them, absolutely nothing was done, things get worse extremely quickly. Know others who have attempted to report, but were not listened to.

    I suppose he thinks Sandusky is innocent as well…

    I still agree with Lyle in the length of the administrative leave issue. Should be no longer than 2 weeks max.

    In New York City, teachers spend time in rubber rooms doing nothing, often for a year at a time because the contract is written in a way that it is very difficult to fire teachers. While they spend time in these rooms, they are paid their full wage.

  76. If your reading/comprehension skills were any good you wouldn’t have had to guess. It’s obvious to even the most casual of observers that your guess is way off base. It has been a total waste of my time to attempt to communicate with you. I won’t make that mistake again.

  77. So, what is the alternative that you propose?

    Fire any and all teachers who are ever accused of misconduct prior to a thorough investigation? That sounds great….except for the wrongful termination lawsuits that will inevitably cost the District hundreds of thousands. Or limit the length of time for investigations….oops, that opens the District up to lawsuits from teachers who are fired (wrongful termination again) AND the parents of students who allege misconduct.

    Golly, maybe paying accused teachers while they are under investigation AND taking them out of the classroom so they no longer have contact with children until a verdict comes in is the most prudent – and least costly to taxpayers – action!

  78. For those who can read and comprehend what you’ve read, and those who aren’t just here to make childish remarks, but most importantly for Lyle Laws, because he is the author of this letter and as such deserves the respect of having my comments directed toward him, there is no doubt in my mind that those who are on administrative leave are being paid because that is the appropriate thing to do. This isn’t about whether a person is innocent or guilty (that’s for the courts to decide). This isn’t even about whether the accuser has the wherewithal to testify. This isn’t about union membership. This is about due process and the presumption of innocence, and it makes good economic sense, as beerBoy so eloquently pointed out.

  79. DevilDog2019 says:

    And as a point, to attack anyone’s “moniker” at your Age is childish. Anyone whom I have ever encountered online and starts to bash on others service is BS. You got to be pushing 75 – 78. Act your age. Forget it you aint worth it!

  80. DevilDog2019 says:

    I served my time! I did my duty! You were just not MAN enough to go with the realo men! See how stupid your actions were!!!!!!

  81. lylelaws says:

    DeviDog2019,

    You seem to have memory probems because you said you had LL at Stadium, but I never worked there. I assume you meant me since I had written the LTE.

    Just out of curiosity, when you said that I was not man enough to go with the real men, does that mean that you served in the Marines?

  82. cclngthr says:

    beerBoy,

    There are policies which are in place that require teachers to avoid conduct that is construed to encourage such allegation. Teachers can avoid the possibility of false allegations by doing things in a way that prevents the allegation from coming forward, particularly allegations that involve misconduct with students. Unfortunately, in this day and age, we have to be extremely cautious around children. Even if we look at a child in a certain way, we can be accused of being a pervert.

    Keep in mind Washington State is a state which allows at will terminations. At Will Terminations do not require a specific reason for terminating an employee, something I think should be used in contracts. I am thinking you believe at will terminations do not exist in this state. The only reason a person can file a wrongful termination is if they feel they are discriminated against, by sex, age, disability, marital status, ethnicity, or religion.

    I also think investigations should be limited, because it does not take long to find the answer. Using the criminal investigative process, prosecutors have a certain time period to charge an individual; if a person is sent to jail, the prosecutor has 72 hours to decide whether to charge that person for a crime, or they are released, and no charges can be filed.

    If a teacher is charged in court of a crime, particularly against children, I think the school district should decide to not pay that individual based on the criminal conduct; if there is sufficient evidence to charge the individual, there is enough evidence to question that persons true ability to continue working with kids. Additionally, this record is also viewable by parents. Parents can research the teacher via internet and find anything that teacher has done and who they are. Parents have the legal right to question teachers on this information, and use the information to decide if they want their child in that classroom.

    Unfortunately, this removes the ability to be spontanious with students and focus on individual needs. In this day and age, with the crimes committed against kids, it is more appropriate not to do this anymore.

  83. lylelaws says:

    cclngthr,

    Are you seriously saying that except or the reasons you listed, the teachers’ union couldn’t even file a wrongful termination suit? You may be right but I would have to see that in print to believe it.

  84. cclngthr says:

    Lyle,

    In this state, it is one that has an At Will clause in labor and employment. Look it up on the state employment webpage.

    I think in contractual issues, using the at will clause should be used more particularly in public employee contracts. This limits the lawsuits and also provides a way to eliminate the mutants from the employment pool.

    Currently, at will termination clauses are eliminated in contracts, causing the process to eliminate those who cause problems to be much longer and the process to fire someone is near to impossible. This essentually guarantees the employee rights that other people don’t have in the private sector, even those with contracts.

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