DEAR MOM & DAD: Read The Letter Why Porn Teacher Andrew Harris Returned to Work

Parents of students enrolled in the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District received a letter via email Tuesday evening advising them that Andrew Harris, the middle school teacher fired by the district in 2010 for viewing pornographic images on a computer at school, will return to the classroom within a week.

Here is the entire text of the letter:

Dear parents and guardians:

We know there has been a lot of speculation since the State Supreme Court announced last week it would not hear the District’s appeal of its case against the Middleton Education Association. We wanted to wait to share information with you until it was appropriate.

District administrators met with the MEA and its attorney this afternoon and offered former Glacier Creek seventh-grade science teacher Andrew Harris a position teaching the same subject and grade at Kromrey Middle School. We believe this meets the arbitrator’s ruling that the District must offer him his former position or a substantially equivalent position.

I want to be very clear. The District has exhausted every legal recourse that was available. We are forging ahead as is required by the courts.

Mr. Harris will replace Eric Engel, who has accepted a position as a Dean of Students at Kromrey. Mr. Harris is expected to report to school on Friday and will begin teaching students when second semester commences on Monday, Jan. 27.

We expect parents and students will have lots of questions and we have prepared a Q&A that is below. If you have a question that wasn’t answered below, please e-mail Communications Director Perry Hibner at phibner@mcpasd.k12.wi.us and he will respond as quickly as he can.

It is our goal to make this transition as smooth for everyone, but, especially, our students.

Don Johnson, Superintendent

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q: Don’t you have any other options available?

A: The arbitrator was clear in her ruling in February 2012. The District could impose a 15-day unpaid suspension of Mr. Harris and be ordered immediately to reinstate him to his former position or to a substantially equivalent position. Now that all legal options are exhausted, we must abide by the ruling.

Q: Why are you putting Mr. Harris at Kromrey and not Glacier Creek?

A: The District has an immediate opening at Kromrey because Eric Engel has accepted a position as a Dean of Students at the school. Glacier Creek doesn’t have an opening. Had we put Mr. Harris in a seventh-grade position at Glacier Creek, we would have needed to move at least two other teachers based on seniority. All of those moves would have impacted far more students.

Q: Could Mr. Harris do something different in the District?

A: Our legal team believes that in order to abide by the arbitrator’s ruling the safest way to interpret a substantially equivalent position would be a science position at one of our middle schools.

Q: Why are you moving so quickly?

A: The courts were clear that we had 15 days to meet the arbitrator’s requirements. The State Supreme Court announced it would not take our appeal on Jan. 13. That means a decision must be made by Jan. 28. We also believe it made sense to have a new teacher take Mr. Engel’s classes at the start of second semester, which begins on Jan. 27.

Q: Will someone be in the room with Mr. Harris when he teaches?

A: Students don’t have school on Friday and Mr. Harris will work with Mr. Engel that day on transition planning. Mr. Engel will be available, if Mr. Harris requests, to be in the classroom when he begins teaching on Jan. 27.

Q: What if I don’t want my child in Mr. Harris’ classroom?

A: We don’t have another instructional option available and we won’t reassign students to a different seventh-grade science classroom.

Read more: Madison.com

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