Thursday, April 13, 2000
Students' parents complain to police
BY Andrea Tortora and Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer
FORT THOMAS Parents concerned about a Ruth Moyer Elementary teacher who is accused of throwing chairs in a classroom full of sixth-graders have taken their complaints to police and school officials.
Kelly Blevins and Greg Grimme said they think school leaders are not taking their worries seriously, because the teacher remains in the classroom.
Police and school spokesmen said investigations are under way and that it is too early to take any action. The teacher, who has been teaching about two years, could not be reached for comment.
The complaints stem from a March 27 incident in the teacher's science room. The teacher allegedly became upset with students who did not push in their chairs, picked up two chairs and threw them. Ms. Blevins said her son told her one chair came close to hitting him in the head.
If a child did this, he would be removed from school, Ms. Blevins said. It's a double standard. A teacher performs a dangerous act and nothing happens.
School officials are reluctant to talk about the matter.
Ruth Moyer Principal Daniel Hamilton declined to comment, and board of education members directed questions to Superintendent Larry Stinson.
Mr. Stinson confirmed that he met with concerned parents Monday night and fielded their questions and suggestions. He would not comment on what kind of information the parents provided.
Teachers and students both have confidentiality rights, he said. It's not appropriate, at least until the entire situation is resolved.
Mr. Grimme said he does
not understand why the school district is fighting the parents on this issue.
They seem more concerned about protecting the teacher, their image or being sued rather than protecting children, Mr. Grimme said. If they can't get rid of the teacher, at least allow for some protection of students in her class.
When Ms. Blevins learned of the incident, she tried to contact Mr. Hamilton, who was out of town. She called her son's home-room teacher and spoke with Mr. Stinson, who told her Mr. Hamilton would have to handle the complaint.
Not satisfied with the school system's response, Ms. Blevins contacted Fort Thomas police, who advised her to file an incident report. She filed a report March 29.
Police Officer Mike Lehkamp is interviewing students and collecting other information to see whether a misdemeanor charge of second-degree wanton endangerment should be filed against the teacher. Such a decision will require the input of the county attorney, he said.
Ms. Blevins and Mr. Grimme said their sons also were interviewed by Mr. Hamilton about what happened.
Don Ruberg, the school board's attorney, is also investigating. He is talking to students and the teacher. He expects to be done early next week.
Mr. Ruberg noted that Kentucky law permits four possible courses of action against the teacher: a public reprimand, private reprimand, suspension and contract termination.
Mr. Ruberg stressed a fifth possibility no action.
Anniversary puts police on alert for serial rapist
Fernald workers eligible for aid
Child deaths decline in county
Grandparents become parents again
Help raising children of relatives
Taft's gun bill killed in committee
UC to have anti-abortion exhibit
Judge decries lawyers as 'fleas'
Jury rejects Sheppard's innocence claim
LAPD recruiting Cincinnati officers
Museum adds to its space
Public fumes over phone tax
County's videotaped warning
Conference to target porn
Council yields on open meetings
Spending too hard to resist
GET TO IT
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Tokyo String Quartet, Tocco entertaining
Pam Frank will meet Pam Frank
AROUND THE COMMONWEALTH
Another administrator plans to quit Springboro schools
Carlisle police chief accepts Fairfield Twp. job
County votes to boost minority role in new Reds ballpark
Direct vote for mayor has setback
Ex-official convicted of theft from agency
Fairfield changes sign ordinance
Fire can't dampen cafe owners' spirits
Golf Manor's Mitzman steps down after 25 years
I-75 corridor study plans monthly meetings
Indians seeking support for holiday
Kentucky author meets fans
Lebanon agrees to buy old house
Monroe adds 74 acres for park
9 months late, city has budget
Students' parents complain to police
Woodlawn hones plan for renewal