A group of parents are outraged that the four elementary
school teachers who were reassigned from their classrooms at Osborn and Milton
schools last spring will still not be back to school when kids arrive next
The teachers - Osborn Elementary fourth grade teacher Carin Mehler and third grade teacher Gail Topol and Milton School teachers Dana Coppola, third grade, and Shannon Gold, fourth grade - were accused of improperly coaching students on state tests last April.
Since the school district’s investigation was launched in May, parents have protested the district’s handling of the situation at public meetings and in communications to the media and the district.
Parents have also collected 117 signatures on an online petition within one month. The petition states:
we respectfully request that RCSD immediately withdraw their
"allegations" to New York State Education Commission for want
probable cause, respectfully request that RCSD immediately reinstate the reassigned Osborn teachers for want of probable cause, and should RCSD still wish to pursue this further, we respectfully request that it does so in the proper fashion.
Read the full petition language below and view it here.
Parents have continuously called on the district to investigate Osborn Principal Angela Garcia’s handling of the accusations. They say she questioned children without parental consent in one case, and that she did not clearly explain the situation to parents when receiving consent in all other cases. They also criticized Garcia and the district’s handling of the classrooms once the teachers had been reassigned, saying it was disorganized and children did not learn in the days and weeks following the reassignments. Read more about the accusations and parents outrage over the way the district handled the situation here.
Superintendent Frank Alvarez said that he made the decision to reassign the teachers and that he stands behind Garcia during a June school board meeting.
Alvarez sent the following in response to questions on the current situation:
"This matter continues to be an on-going investigation. As it is a personnel matter, the District is precluded from discussing details. We will share information as able and when a resolution is reached."
A Freedom of Information Request Patch filed with the State Department of Education for any information relating to the investigation was never answered.