>Yesterday morning I received an email from, I assume, a parent whose child attends Middletown High School South. In this email, the parent (name being withheld) informed me of an English teacher, Rachel Singer, who was recently suspended from her position at High School South for making an inappropriate comment on a student’s Facebook wall.
The parent was very upset and wanted to know “Why is it that if a teacher is suspended in Middletown we hear nothing about it? I think it should be public knowledge because others could have input to just how inappropriate the teacher is and rather than suspend the teacher, she would be fired…”
Do to the hour in which I opened this email yesterday, I wasn’t able to call over to High School South or the Board of Education office for confirmation or comments on this, so I reached out to the only person I know that has a child of theirs attending Middletown High School South. When I contacted this person, she had not heard of the incident but said that she would ask around and get back to me.
When my contact got back to me a short while later, she started off by saying that her son had this teacher last year and that he didn’t care for her, he called her a “lousy” teacher but in her defense added that she is friendly with the student’s family and was joking around. Someone who didn’t care for her “ratted” her out.
My contact also talked to a friend of hers’ that is a member of MHSS Parent Faculty Association (similar to PTA or PTO), who stated to her that recently Middletown High School South Principal, Dr. Anthony Shallop, addressed the PFA about this teacher and told those in attendance that she (Singer) was suspended due to posting an inappropriate message on a former student’s wall. The PFA member thinks but wasn’t sure, that Singer has been suspended for the rest of the school year.
I can understand the anger and frustration from the person who sent me this email, in situations like this parents have a right to know exactly what happened and any results from an investigation should be made public. It doesn’t really matter if she is a good teacher or a lousy one. Transparency through full disclosure and trust in knowing that the interests of the children are first and foremost in the minds of administrators is really what’s important here.
In defense of Ms. Singer, her student rating on the website RateMyTeachers.com is respectable with an overall grade from students of 26 out 30 possible points (she scores lower in her student popularity grade with a 23) and it seems that she has been teaching at the school for more than a few years.
So without actually knowing what Singer posted and the context in which it was posted, parents shouldn’t jump to drastic conclusions about her, if indeed, she is a family friend of the former student. If this was a current student or if it can be shown that Ms. Singer has a history of interacting inappropriately with other students this way, than I would have cause for concern but the key here is the word former.
Often when dealing with friends, people let their guards down and sometime forget what they are saying, or in this case posting on Facebook. This is a frequent mistake that far to many people are making these days, they forget that there is no privacy on the internet, whatever is posted can come back to haunt you for the rest of your life.