Details released on why 4 teachers resigned from West Bend High School in May 2017

Dec. 22, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Details are coming out today on a story from May of 2017 when four teachers in the West Bend School District resigned.

At that time, then-Superintendent Erik Olson issued a press release; a portion of which reads:

We wanted to advise you about a change in District staffing at the high schools which may have a short-term impact on the remaining few days of your child’s school year.

Effective today, four of our teachers elected to resign from their positions at West Bend East and West High Schools.

While we understand that the timing of these resignations is not ideal, the District accepted them due to the specific circumstances leading up to the resignations.

Please know that while we wish to be as transparent as possible, due to confidentiality laws and out of respect for the privacy of the educators involved, we are unable to provide further details about the specifics of their resignations.

Click HERE to read the entire release.

Today local blogger Owen Robinson posted more details on verbatim comments from Google chats sent by the four teachers which were retrieved through an open records request from the West Bend School District. The comments were posted on the district’s Google chats platform. Some of the comments have been posted below.

Because most contain adult language you can choose to click HERE to read the rest of the post.  To be clear, bootsandsabers.com is an opinion-based web page.

Calls have been placed to the West Bend Teachers Union and a response will be posted upon receipt.

Calls have also been placed to Tiffany Larson, president of the West Bend School Board.

Board member Monte Schmiege responded to questions about the notes between former teachers and how the district addressed the situation.  “The matter was handled fairly,” said Schmiege. “I don’t think they represent the wide body of teachers.”

Laura Jackson, superintendent of teaching and learning in the West Bend School District, was not on staff when the resignation of the teachers occurred. However, she said she believed the situation was handled appropriately.

“In general practice when a situation occurs you gather all the information you need so you can address it properly,” Jackson said.

Jackson did not know the timeline when the Google chats by teachers were first discovered by district administration and the time when the teachers resigned.

“Ninety-nine percent of our teachers don’t engage in that,” Jackson said. “We have new staff in place and I would hope this is an oddity and we can make sure it doesn’t happen again because we have really solid hiring practices.”

The teacher resignations were approved by the West Bend School Board on June 12, 2017.

In an attempt to cover how a government body would handle such a situation state Senator Duey Stroebel said “it is now clear former Superintendent Olson handled these inappropriate correspondence correctly.”

“No student, parent or community member should be mocked with explicit language – especially since those using bullying tactics are teachers,” wrote Stroebel.

“Earlier this week, the West Bend Educator’s Association suggested this clear violation of public trust was not handled appropriately. Union teachers need to answer if bullying is OK and how they would have handled the situation.”

Stroebel went on to comment on Thursday’s story about the Privilege Test given to students at Badger Middle School. He called it “a politically-charged survey offered to students.”

“Political agendas must stay out of the classroom,” wrote Stroebel.  “Children must always come first.

“It is unfortunate the many past achievements made by former board members, administrators and teachers are being shadowed by the lapse of judgment of some teachers.”

 

A portion of the post from bootsandsabers.com is below.

Here are some examples of how these four teachers discussed their students, parents, and peers. I do have the source documents for these quotes. They are public records. But I’ll leave them off this post in order to not circulate the teachers’ names any more than necessary.

It discussing some petty crime in the parking lot:

“It’s all the {expletive] ghetto [expletive] moving up her from Milwaukee to sell their drugs to the idiot kids that live in this town.”

In a discussion over a sexually-explicit book that one of the teachers had their kids read:

“[Expletive] it, there are other things parents can complain about. It would just make them look stupid.”

“I hope you’re right! I can’t even blame it on the curriculum!”

I think we can tell how this teacher feels about Republicans:

“Just being in the same room with you feels too republican”

In promoting dating techniques to students:

“I told them I knew people who internet dated and it worked for them, but high schools promoting it felt weird. It reminded me of how they did a bachelor/bachelorette auction at Brown Deer. That was especially weird because most of the kids were black and it was juuuuust a bit too similar to a slave auction.”

 

To read more of the material from the open records request you can choose to click HERE.

Note the opinion included in the blog posting at bootsandsabers.com is solely that of author Owen Robinson.

 

 

 

This is a story in progress and more details will be posted as they become available.

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