Gov. Walker wants revocation hearing for Middleton teacherGov. Walker wants revocation hearing for Middleton teacher
MIDDLETON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker is asking Wisconsin state Superintendent Tony Evers to start proceedings to revoke the license of an embattled teacher in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District.
In a letter sent Tuesday, Walker said it appears the behavior of Andrew Harris meets the definition of immoral conduct cited in state statutes.
Harris was a seventh-grade teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School until he was terminated in 2010 after being accused of receiving and sharing explicit emails while on the job. Arbitrators ruled the school district wrongly fired Harris and he should be reinstated. He returned to the classroom last week.
Walker said the arbitration process failed the school district and students.
Department of Public Instruction officials said an investigation of Harris started in May 2010.
The letter from Gov. Walker points out that Walker signed a law in 2011 giving the state superintendent the authority to revoke a teacher’s license for immoral conduct.
Walker also cited Act 10, saying the reform gives districts the power to move away from contracts preventing school boards from hiring and firing teachers based on merit, performance and professional conduct.
The letter states that the Middleton-Cross Plains School District has spent about $1 million on costs and legal fees in the case.
Last week a group of parents picketed outside Kromrey Middle School against the decision to allow Harris back into the school.
Students in Harris’ class were given the option of taking a study hall. There will also be a second staff member with Harris for at least two weeks to ease parents’ concerns, said Middleton-Cross Plains School District spokesman Perry Hibner.
Students won’t get credit for the study hall. They won’t get a grade for the science class, but that won’t prevent them from being promoted to eighth grade or to high school, Hibner said.
Hibner said Harris is scheduled to be in class on Wednesday.