Rye City School District School Board president Laura Slack addressed rumors regarding the reassignment of four elementary school teachers at the Sept. 10 board meeting. Read her comments, provided by RCSD, here:
Last spring, certain elementary teachers were reassigned in connection with an investigation associated with the administration of state assessments. Several parents and children came forward with allegations regarding the administration of the tests. The district conducted a preliminary investigation and found enough reason to believe the allegations are sufficiently credible. Subsequently,the district immediately notified the state investigative unit and the district attorney as required by law and upon the advice of counsel.
As we have said in the past, the state views any such allegations very seriously, as do the Board and school district community, regardless of whether those accused are otherwise good teachers or well‐liked employees.
After notifying the Board and the state, the superintendent, in consultation with the school district’s attorney, decided to assign the teachers to administrative leave.
As we expressed in June, district leaders are unable to provide further elaboration or comment on the situation, as it is a confidential personnel matter
However, there are some rumors and misconceptions that the Board would like to clear up at this time:
• According to state education law, the Board is prohibited from taking action during the summer when school is not in session.
• Any Board vote on a disciplinary charge must be by majority, not unanimous.
• No formal charges have been presented to the Board as of yet.
• The only manner in which a tenured teacher can be disciplined is through a due process procedure or negotiated settlement. Due to the nature of the allegations, it is likely that state officials would also be involved in any settlement discussion.
• As with all potential litigation, the district is willing to attempt to amicably resolve these matters, but only if the settlement is in the best interest of the district, the students and the community.
At this juncture, we do not have anything new to report or a resolution. We understand the frustrations associated with this, but please know that both employee privacy and obvious legal prohibitions prevent us from offering more information.