A 14 year teacher with a trail of complaints of “inappropriate” interactions with students returned to the classroom this week amidst uproar in Piedmont. Apparently propositioning students, inviting them to private meetings, touching them inappropriately or more isn’t enough to get fired any more.
I have seen much more egregious abuse first hand, but this is abuse nonetheless, and I don’t give a damn what some contract says, this dude should not be in front of children.
In the interview on KCBS, the districts spokesperson said that it wasn’t “sexual abuse.” Apparently someone needs to get physically attacked to justify a firing? Really? And I get that that is probably some negotiated legal standard for dismissal, but so what.
His fellow teachers were at the board meeting protesting his reinstatement. And what is the signal this sends to the young women and young men, to see this teacher “welcomed” back as the District’s notice to parents described it.
“he asked students if they would sleep with him”
KTVU aired the testimony of a parent that described in some detail the behavior, “he asked students if they would sleep with him as he simultaneously doled out their grades and recommendations and chaperones them…”
Let’s look at what the district admitted to, which probably understates what happened. This is from KPIX
A district letter was sent to victims’ families saying evidence shows Cowherd engaged in inappropriate and unprofessional behavior and failed to serve as a positive role model at school and in the community.
The letter even listed Cowherd’s inappropriate actions, which included:
Repeatedly asking students to meet personally and privately.
Touching, grabbing, and/or holding students by their shoulders, heads, elbows, and backs.
Calling students nicknames that made students feel uncomfortable and harassed.
Sending inappropriate text messages and emails.
Consuming alcohol in the presence of students.
Making inappropriate and unprofessional comments that were interpreted to be sexual in nature.
Asking inappropriate and unprofessional personal questions…
And from a parent whose daughter was one of the victims,
Parent Pear Michaels said, “The district should not allow a predatory teacher who has sexually solicited, harassed, and intimidated his students to remain at the high school.”
Any one of the founded allegations should basically get you fired, but asking a student to sleep with you, should get you blacklisted from teaching, anywhere, basically forever.
Fire this guy, even if he beats you in court, put him in a desk away from kids, and any time he tries to teach elsewhere as these folks usually do it will come up in a google search. He should not be teaching children. It’s the district’s responsibility to do the right thing.