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Hearing continues over Langford teacher's contract

Defense will present reasons for renewal

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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.



Topic: Crime and Courts
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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.

Cross Creek Case

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission decided Thursday to further examine a judge's ruling involving a Cross Creek High School Spanish teacher accused of making inappropriate and suggestive comments to students.

"The commission voted to review the case in a hearing before the entire commission," Gary Walker, the deputy executive secretary for the PSC, wrote in an e-mail.

The complaint against Edwin Perez was filed with the PSC in October 2008 after a student allegation. Thursday's decision followed a May 24 ruling by an administrative hearing judge, who reduced to a reprimand an earlier finding by the PSC that there was cause to consider suspending Perez's teaching certificate for up to a year. The judge forwarded his ruling to the PSC for their consideration.

The PSC will hear more evidence and will rule whether further appeals should be filed. Walker said the next meeting will occur July 8.

-- Preston Sparks, staff writer

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Just My Opinion
5849
Points
Just My Opinion 06/04/10 - 04:42 am
0
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So, let me get this

So, let me get this straight..this Langford teacher "created a bad, negative environment for students, staff and parents", right? So, I'm hearing that even if the students were courteous, diligent with their school work, respectful, and orderly, then this teacher would still be calling them stupid and arrogant?? See, something doesn't sound right. I'm thinking that the STUDENTS are the ones who have created a bad environment, not so much this teacher. Once again, the teachers get blamed for the poor performance of the students. And, as far as recalculating the student's grades...they just wanted him to redo the grades so that the complaining students/parents would pass his class, right? I mean, just be honest and admit that. This guy sounds like he might have been railroaded. I'm not saying he's innocent, but I think he might have a case.

justus4
103
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justus4 06/04/10 - 07:15 am
0
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This teacher should keep his
Unpublished

This teacher should keep his job and have a Letter of Reprimand placed into his file and here is why: If U do this to him, U will set a horrible precedent, however, there is something else going on here that is extremely clear: 1. This guy was targeted for removal, 2. Every teacher and future teacher that is deemed to have "create a negative" environment for learning will NOT be terminated. So why raise the standard for this guy? U guessed it, it's a typical approach to harm particular individuals - but not others. If U gonna fire EVERY teacher that "creates a negative" learning environment and that's the established policy, then do it. But that's NOT a policy and witch hunt comes to mind. And those previous 19 yrs gotta count for something...yep, this is all 'bout U know what and with all the usual suspects.

redapples
660
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redapples 06/04/10 - 09:02 am
0
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Ok, where are our legal-eagle

Ok, where are our legal-eagle posters? Georgia is an "at will" employment state. If the term of the teaching contract is over, why is there a hearing? The article did say "non renewal" leading me to believe this decision is being made for next school year. Just curious.

Labatt
0
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Labatt 06/04/10 - 11:39 am
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"referring to students as

"referring to students as "stupid" and "arrogant"....my PE teacher put me against a wall and threatened to rip off my arm and beat me with it. My parents, when they got the call from the principle explaining the actions of myself and of the teacher, applauded the teacher, turned and looked at me and repeated his words.

corgimom
33947
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corgimom 06/04/10 - 03:06 pm
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Conduct isn't part of a grade

Conduct isn't part of a grade anymore? Really?

If my son came home and told me that the teacher said he was stupid and arrogant, I'd tell him to stop acting stupid and arrogant and behave himself, then he wouldn't have a problem.

But then, I'm the one who told his 7th grade science teacher that she could discipline him any way she wanted to, and if he disrespected her, to slap him silly- and that ended THAT problem.

corgimom
33947
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corgimom 06/04/10 - 03:07 pm
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I have to ask- what's wrong

I have to ask- what's wrong with a teacher taking pictures and videos of misbehaving students?

lsmith
105
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lsmith 06/04/10 - 04:53 pm
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sounds like a witch hunt to
Unpublished

sounds like a witch hunt to me. I don't know the details of this incident but would ask the question of what kind of complaints were made in the prior 19 years of his employment. Did he suddenly go bad and did he just run into a class that disliked him enough to band together to get rid of him?
If theyre going to report on this story at all, there needs to be an airing of all fact pertient.

factfinder
6
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factfinder 06/04/10 - 05:13 pm
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I agree Ismith, this is

I agree Ismith, this is amazing, if this article contains all the facts, why not transfer the 19 year veteran teacher and let it go? What evaluation process did the principal use? Where is the other documentation on this teacher, after 19 years of service, that merits him losing his job and possibly his teaching certification?

booney1972
0
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booney1972 06/04/10 - 09:08 pm
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This is not the first time

This is not the first time this teacher has had this problem. He used to teach at WGES, and he would do the same thing there. But instead of punishment the principal would take up for him. I am very glad he is not teaching anymore.

LCC0256
634
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LCC0256 06/04/10 - 10:26 pm
0
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Nearly EVERYDAY there is some

Nearly EVERYDAY there is some inexcusable incident in one of the area's public (can you say federal GIVErMEnt) schools..when (if ever) are the people of this area going to wake up and realize public schools have deteriorated into NEAR cesspools with their tenure for "teachers" (yeah right) and unions and absentee "parents" (if any at all)...Force the school system to its knees by sending your children to one of our area's EXCELLENT private schools - start new private schools or home school...Are private schools perfect? NO!! absolutely not!! Do they have problems? YES!! but here is a MAIN DIFFERENCE they do by in large LOVE the children (and PROVE THAT FACT DAILY in their administration and education of their pupils) have INVOLVED parents (and those willing to help parent the children without parents) And here is a real novel idea - private schools subscribe to the philosophy that THE PARENTS AND TEACHERS RUN THE SCHOOL NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT!! Most of you are so selfish and greedy you would rather have 1000 more sq ft home or a condo at the beach or mountains or a new car than to SHOW REAL LOVE for your children by opting out of the now near decadent (and certainly horribly violent) public schools... where DUH you dont even have control over what is taught or how discipline is administered ...heck you cannot even send your child to the school of your choice...you MUST abide by the federal GIVErMEnt rules..or do the 85% of you not realize these facts? Our area children deserve SO MUCH MORE and better than the pathetic excuse for education that is now the "public school system"

factfinder
6
Points
factfinder 06/04/10 - 11:58 pm
0
0
What is the same thing??? And

What is the same thing??? And why did the other principal support him at that school. The inconsistency in policy and procedure is disturbing to say the least. The issue that your comment bring up is personality vs policy. Based on the information provided in this article, which does not mention consistent poor evaluations, the fact that this incident was even given this amount of attention is simply amazing. The ramifications of evaluations varying so differently from one principal to another indicate a flaw within the evaluation process, and this should concern all educators as well as the general public.

RunningMan
346
Points
RunningMan 06/05/10 - 07:34 am
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LCC0256...I guess you have a

LCC0256...I guess you have a real issue with public schools. All 3 of our daughters graduated from Davidson Fine Arts School in Richmond County. I have no doubt they received a great education at one of the finest public schools in Georgia and the Nation. Everyone cannot afford to send their kids to private schools, and are not in a position to home school either. The bottom line, public school can be better if parents, teachers, and administrators would get on the same page regarding the conduct of kids while attending school. It all starts at home with the parents, so lets stop putting so much of the blame on the Federal Government.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 06/07/10 - 02:46 pm
0
0
I think the teacher's should

I think the teacher's should take pictures and post them all over the internet so people can see how these little monsters act at school. I also think the parent's should have to pay fines for each time a pic is posted that shows their child acting rude and unruly.

DMac_357
1
Points
DMac_357 06/14/10 - 04:18 pm
0
0
This guys sounds like a

This guys sounds like a bully. I'm not going to tolerate some teacher telling my kids that they are stupid and arrogant. Not what he's there for. If my kids are misbehaving, call me and I'll put a stop to that but it doesn't take a teacher to call them names. He's resorting to acting like a child instead of an adult. Look at the syllabus when your child brings it home. Conduct isn't listed as a grading criteria. Would love to hear this "teacher" explain how he arrived at his grading system. AC, make sure your next article includes the defense.

dominionfs
0
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dominionfs 06/14/10 - 04:23 pm
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DMac357 says "If my kids are

DMac357 says "If my kids are misbehaving, call me and I'll put a stop to that " If you were capable of exerting that kind of positive influence, then your kids wouldn't be misbehaving in the first place. Secondly, If conduct is not a part of the grading criteria, then it darn sure should be.

gman
0
Points
gman 12/30/10 - 02:30 pm
0
0
The kids and parents (not all

The kids and parents (not all of them) have serious behavior problems. Their parents don't care or don't want someone (especially teachers) telling their children how to behave. The flip side to that is yes there are bad teachers. If his contract was not renewed for calling parents in front of the class. Its not what you know, its who you know.

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