Teacher who allegedly abused student gets... transferred?

The fine state of public education and the iron fortress of the teachers unions gets yet another black eye this week after video emerged of a shocking incident which took place in the classroom earlier this year. The action allegedly took place back in February in Gig Harbor, Florida Washington, but the public didn’t become aware of it until a video shot on cell phone by another student began making the rounds and the child’s family is crying foul.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday it is investigating a complaint of an alleged bullying incident, caught on video, involving a student at Kopachuk Middle School in Gig Harbor in February.

The department said it was contacted July 30 by a lawyer representing the parents of the student who was concerned that her clients’ 13-year-old son had been the victim of a bullying incident and that “the incident appeared to be abuse.”

“It was a teacher-led bullying incident of epic proportions,” said lawyer Joan Mell, representing the parents of the alleged victim.

She says teacher John Rosi led the rest of the class to stack chairs on the boy, place a pillow over his face and put socks in his mouth.

“He was assaulted several times. He was assaulted by the teacher, the teacher poked him in the belly, the teacher turned around and put his bottom in his face and said, ‘I feel gassy,’ ” she alleged.

We technically still have to say, “alleged” but as the following video report from the local news shows, the event was caught on camera.

So what happened to the teacher in the wake of the incident? The acting superintendent took what he described in the interview as “quick and decisive action.”

However, the acting superintendent of the school district, Chuck Cuzzetto, said, “I was horrified by what I saw” on the video. After an investigation, he said he decided to suspend the teacher and then move Rosi to another school.

Yes, he was so “horrified” by this that he sent the teacher to work with a whole new class of students. In a longer interview I saw on CNN Headline News (which I can’t find a clip for yet) they went into more detail. He was initially suspended with pay and assigned to “substitute teacher status” while they looked into it. After that, it seems to have been determined that this was a sufficient slap on the wrist and he was assigned to the new school. A follow-up report indicates that he may finally have been shifted to suspension without pay and released from the new school as well, (unconfirmed) but clearly the system’s initial response never included the idea of taking him off the public payroll.

If you think the iron grip of the teachers unions has been loosened or that public scrutiny and shame have forced them to improve their own practices, I have a used truck I’d like to sell you. Only $40,000 and it’s barely got 100K miles on it!