Teacher v. bully? A teacher, fired for confronting a bully and giving him a taste of his own vitriol, is planning legal action against the school district. The Ohio elementary teacher took on a school bully – defending her tormented students – but lost her job in the process. Now, local parents are irate after the controversial firing of a beloved teacher.
Writes The Blaze: “An Ohio school board handed one of its teachers a pink slip after finding out she ‘publicly humiliated’ a student accused of bullying. Now, some residents are lashing out. Nicole LeMire was a teacher at Glen Oak Elementary School in Olentangy, Ohio, for 14 years. She learned last month that a student was sneezing on other kids and using inappropriate language, so she confronted him about it.”
LeMire said she is planning to file suit against the Olentangy Local School District after she was fired on May 14. She did not elaborate on what legal actions she would be taking. She has ten days to appeal the decision.
According to LeMire, a known bully at Glen Oak Elementary School has been cursing other students, name calling, pushing students to the ground – even blowing his nose on other children. The fifth grade teacher had seen enough. She confronted the student privately, stating she told him: “Do you realize what your actions and your words do and how they’re hurting other students and your friends?”
She then had a classroom discussion – without using names – painting a scenario of what “Student A” has been doing and how the class would feel if this was done to them. With the bully present in her class, students responded that the bully would have no friends, was annoying, made them upset, etc.
For that – considered an act of “public humiliation” – LeMire was let go.
LeMire says that her efforts were designed to show the bully how his actions impact others, but the school board evidently saw it differently, stating it’s not just about the bullying incident.
The Olentangy Valley News picks up the story:
The resolution also states that LeMire disclosed confidential information about the student to a latchkey program employee. According to the document, LeMire received previous unpaid suspensions in June and December 2014 for “missed deadlines” and “poor communication.”
LeMire, who has hired an attorney, said the district’s accusations were “100 percent false.”
“Indirectly, I am being considered for termination because of a single question I asked a student: ‘Do you realize how your words and actions are hurting your friends?’” she said, adding that what she did was not a humiliation, but a “sincere, teachable moment” that the bully will likely not soon forget.
According to the written allegation, “Ms. LeMire required Student A to listen to classmates’ complaints and refused to allow him to respond or defend himself against potentially embellished complaints.”
At the public school board meeting, parents came out in force to support LeMire.
“I’m embarrassed to live in this district,” shouted one woman. “It’s embarrassing.”
Parent Beth Osterholt said her own son had been verbally attacked by the class bully. Osterholt commended LeMire for actually doing something about it.
“I know that my son needed to be stood up for, and (LeMire) stood up for him,” Osterholt said.
Parent Thomas Sweeney agreed, stating that the school board got it dead wrong.
“There’s so many future children that she (would) influence in a positive manner,” Sweeney said. “Anything that she does, she is always motivated to improve the lives of the children.”
But despite the outrage and testimonials, the board voted to dismiss LeMire.
“You’re all fired!” yelled a man after the vote to terminate was announced.
What are your thoughts on this teacher v. bully story? Should this teacher have been fired for confronting a school bully?