Teacher Fired For Encouraging Students To Fight
Teachers are usually in the business of breaking up schoolyard tussles, not arranging them. But when two lab partners, ages 13 and 14, started arguing in Patrick Kocsis' science class, he ordered the two kids to take it outside and fight it out, reports the Omaha World-Herald.
The two teens obeyed, and the resulting fracas was captured on a McMillan Magnet Center security camera. Neither student was injured, but police ticketed Kocsis on suspicion of two counts of misdemeanor child neglect.
No charges have been filed, but Kocsis was put on paid administrative leave by Omaha Public Schools. On Wednesday night, the Omaha school board voted 11 to 1 to fire him.
Kocsis decided not to appeal the decision.
The children were give in-school suspensions for the rest of the school day, which were removed from their records.
While Nebraska doesn't have tenure for teachers, it has a system of due process termination. State law specifically outlines the offenses for which a teacher can be fired, including neglect of duties and unprofessional conduct. Teachers are allowed to tell their side of the story, and the administrator must provide evidence against them. Unfortunately for Kocsis, his actions were caught on candid camera.
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin.
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