A hearing on whether to renew the contract of a physical education teacher accused of demeaning students and grading them based on behavior will continue today.
Langford Middle School teacher Larry Woodland is accused of punishing students for their behavior with lower grades, and referring to students as "stupid" and "arrogant," according to board attorney Pete Fletcher.
Superintendent Dana Bedden recommended that Woodland's contract not be renewed for next school year.
Woodland, who has taught for 19 years, is contesting the decision.
Bedden cited an incident in March where Woodland used his cell phone to get his class to behave.
Students believed that Woodland was taking photographs and videos with the phone, but administrators learned that he only pretended to take photos.
"He has created a bad, negative environment for students, staff and parents," Bedden said.
For nearly 12 hours Thursday, board members heard testimony from parents, students and staff that claimed Woodland treated students unfairly, disrespected parents and colleagues and broke the school system's code of ethics.
Virginia Bradshaw, the executive director of middle schools, testified that Woodland believed his reprimands were due to Langford Principal Vicki Reese's desire to have a female P.E. teacher hired this school year. "He (Woodland) did not feel he had been treated fairly all year," Bradshaw testified. "He didn't feel he belonged at Langford."
Bradshaw and Reese both received complaints about Woodland's grading system from parents, Bradshaw said. Once his grade books were reviewed, Bradshaw said Reese could not "make sense" of how he came up with some of the grades.
Administrators asked Woodland to recalculate grades on two occasions, and began receiving complaints about his teaching beginning last fall, Bradshaw said.
The defense will present its case beginning at 8:30 a.m. today in the Richmond County Board of Education headquarters, located at 864 Broad St.