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BULLYING: Teacher, district and union failed leadership test

Letter by George L. Wilkinson, Steilacoom on Sep. 4, 2012 at 11:44 am with 13 Comments »
September 4, 2012 11:45 am

Re: “Records describe bullying incident” (TNT, 9-2).

I commend Debbie Cafazzo and The News Tribune for the research regarding the recent Kopachuck Middle School teacher, John Rosi, and his classroom abilities.

Rosi should have been terminated immediately. Also, the superintendent at the time should have been more forthcoming in his leadership abilities for the school and the Peninsula School District. The union, whereby agreeing upon the discipline, really should have represented the very able staff and stepped back, thereby promoting professional, ethical and appropriate classroom leadership.

A teacher must provide leadership, as well as ethics and knowledge of the subject and not be one of the students. The student involved has been humiliated, and the district has not done anything to enable him and his family to overcome this episode. Hiding the event will not solve these problems. This recent event has effectively cast the school, staff and district in a very negative light.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. MyBandito says:

    Fortunately this young man and his family have not been named, but there are quite a few who do know who he is. Putting myself in his shoes, I would much rather have had this whole event just go away. Once this came out, whatever humiliation there may have been became exponentially greater.

    All this criticism of the teacher and the school board does nothing to resolve the burden that he’s carrying.

  2. Oldfaithful says:

    This is a small sample of what is wrong with our country. We can no longer teach right or wrong in public schools. The majority of kids in the class were having fun, so the rest go along with it or they’d be next. Sad that the adult in charge doesn’t know right from wrong, but he probably went to a public school in the liberal Seattle area. Don’t want to dampen the child’s creative processes; it’s a free county isn’t it?

    Sadder the the fact that the teacher unions don’t come down hard on bad actors and THEY NEVER WILL. Public unions tolerate bad actors which is why they are losing support from taxpayers.

    School principals should have fire at will authority. This guy shouldn’t be anywhere near children! Unions have no place in personnel decisions. There are lots of ethical, responsible young people who can teach. Fire him now, UNION!!!

  3. alindasue says:


    The union is only there to negotiate collectively for the workers in contract issues and to provide legal representation during hearings. It is the administrators that do the hiring and firing, not the union.

  4. alindasue, you’re wring. The unions will go to bat to support any teacher who is facing administrative action. That’s why Governor Walker in Wisconsin won public support when dealing with public sector unions.

  5. sorry for the typo, “meant to say “wrong”.

  6. frosty – every hear of ‘due process’, ‘fair trail’, and ‘innocent till proving guilty”?

  7. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    The big questions that must be asked is why did the district keep this secret from the voters just before a continuous tax increasing levy.

    Was the fact that this happened before the levy was to be voted on a reason it was kept from the public? What was the school board and unions involvement in helping to brush this under the rug.

    The districts creditably has been lost and will not be restored until ALL the facts come out. If this was covered up to help the levy pass, all involved must resign.

    The TNT reporter needs to look at all the smoking guns in this story before you give her a pat on the back.

  8. cclngthr says:

    KIRO reported at noon that the district never reported it to OSPI as they are required to do, nor reported it to CPS, as they also are required to do.

    Having this issue occuring right before a levy and it not be known at that time is suspicious; as a resident of Gig Harbor also mentioned to me yesterday. Why wasn’t this dealt with in Feburary? Why now is it just coming to light?

    I suspect the boy has had problems as long as 2 years. Cafazzo reported that he went to the school counselor about problems before the incident tells me that something was going on. I also feel the parents of the boy also knew something and was attempting to work on that; he had been seen by a psychologist outside of school. Was the school aware of the issues? We don’t know, but Rosi apparently knew he had some issues. Did other teachers know? That is unknown.

  9. MyBandito says:

    ccingthr- I’m not sure that what you suspect about the victim, matters. Whether there were previous problems or not, this young man has to face his piers. They would all rather that this inappropriate behavior hadn’t created such fiasco.

    Frosty- You are correct. “The unions will go to bat to support any teacher who is facing administrative action.” That’s their job, and they do it well. Thank God for organized labor.

    Alindasue- You are absolutely correct. Never stop.

    Oldfaithful- You’re wrong. The union cannot fire one of its members. Only employees can be fired. Stop blaming the unions for doing their job.

  10. MyBandito says:

    ccingthr- BTW- This was dealt with in February. The TNT recently just decided to run it up a flagpole.

  11. Oldfaithful says:

    The unions should be able to expel a member who brings disgrace upon the unit. Instead, the unions give safe harbor to these bad teachers. Can’t pass up those dues for the union bosses!

  12. Cc, so the teacher is not the only one who should face disciplinary action.

  13. MyBandito says:

    Oldfaithful- The union represents all employes. It’s their job. What you think the union should or shouldn’t do is irrelevant.

    The union is not accountable for the behavior of one of their members. The employer is. That employee’s membership is dependent on his employment, nothing else.

    It’s the unions job to represent all of the members as best they can.

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