Haslett Reacts to Teacher Scandal

By: Liam Martin Email
By: Liam Martin Email

HASLETT -- "It seems to me that we have a set of teachers who have a problem with alcohol use, with drug use," said one angry parent at the Haslett School Board's meeting Monday night -- its first since a sex scandal involving its teachers first emerged almost two weeks ago.

Some came to voice their anger.

"They've lost my trust right now," another parent said.

Others to lend their support. "Everybody gets a second chance," said one mother.

It was a back-and-forth indicative of the Haslett community's mixed emotions surrounding the scandal. Six Haslett teachers caught in a 2007 end-of-the-school-year party filled with alcohol, drugs and sex.

Some say it's nodoby's business.

"Two prosecutors took a look at it and said, 'We really can't do anything,'" one such Haslett father said.

Others want the participants -- all of whom are stilll teaching their children -- to be disciplined.

"When things go wrong, those who are responsible need to face some consequences," said a man who has a child in Haslett High School.

But Superintendent Mike Duda says -- under Michigan's Teacher Tenure Act -- that simply can't happen.

"According to Teacher Tenure Act, we do not have the ability to regulate social actions beyond the school day," he said.

In many ways, the question in Haslett on Monday night wasn't the fate of the teachers involved in this incident. It's what school officials are doing now to prevent it from happening again.

"Going forward, I would say this to you: I think that the board is going to explore every possibility," said Duda.

Specifically, he said the school board could strengthen the district's current code of conduct, allowing them to discipline teachers caught in illicit acts.

School officials also announced they'll be holding a special work-session board meeting November 9 to suss out exactly how to approach these issues going forward.

And parents here are happy to learn they're invited to take part.

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