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KUOW investigated teachers who had abused students. After their stories, the teachers were moved out of the classroom.
On Jan. 23, KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld released an investigation into 10 teachers at Seattle Public Schools with known discipline records, some of which included abusing students. One teacher punched a student in the jaw and had been accused of sexually harassing students. The district’s response was to give him a five-day unpaid suspension and require him to take conflict-management training. Then he started teaching at another middle school. After the stories came out, middle-school students who had already reported some incidents in the past felt empowered to rally for change. The day after the story came out, the teacher was put on leave.
But the investigation scrutinized more than just one teacher. After dozens of interviews with lawyers, district staff, parents, students and others, Dornfeld highlighted “seven major flaws in the system that allow problem educators to get hired and stay in the classroom.” They include teachers being hired despite inadequate reference checks and superintendents failing to notify the state of serious misconduct.
Another piece looked into verbal abuse and racist tweets from an elementary-school teacher in Kent. Parents reported concerns but the teacher was still working in schools. After Dornfeld’s reporting, the teacher was moved out of the classroom.
NYC schools focused on supporting low-income students and their families. An early report shows the strategy is promising.
What happens when schools start providing counseling, dental-health care, homework help and classes for parents? Test scores don’t necessarily go up, but more kids show up for school and advance to the next grade. This Washington Post article highlights some of the findings of a new report. Chalkbeat reported on these schools in April.
Student songs, poems and more about mental health
As part of The Denver Post’s coverage of teen suicide, the paper asked students to talk about how the issue affects them. These are five of the pieces students submitted. In a song by two eighth graders, they reflect on what it’s like to lose a friend to suicide. An essay focuses on a student who gets turned away after seeking help for a friend. Don’t miss these.