Principal resigns, teacher on leave after boy gets stuck in chair

Feb. 27, 2014 at 5:29 PM   |   Comments

GOODRICH, Mich., Feb. 27 (UPI) -- An elementary school principal in Goodrich, Mich., resigned and a teacher is on administrative leave for videotaping a boy stuck in a chair, officials say.

The incident happened in a fifth grade classroom at Oaktree Elementary in Goodrich in November, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Teacher Nicole McVey allegedly shot a 53-second video with a cellphone of the 10-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, stuck in the chair. Asperger's syndrome is a milder form of autism.

"We are waiting for the maintenance to come help you get out because you can't get out without maintenance help," the woman is heard saying in the video. "If you wouldn't have put your head in there to begin with, we wouldn't be in this situation."

The boy was stuck for 10 to 15 minutes.

McVey then allegedly emailed the video to herself, principal Michael Ellis, and several other teachers and friends.

The boy's mother's attorney, Patrick Greenfelder, said a bully liaison reported the incident to Superintendent Scott Bogner, who showed the boy's parents and gave McVey and Ellis the option to resign or be fired.

Ellis has resigned, while McVey is fighting to keep her job.

"In any situation where tenure questions are raised, the board judges the severity of the behaviors against best educational practices and also against district policies," Bogner said in a statement. "In the event that the behaviors are clearly not in keeping with the policies of the district, raise concerns about professional judgment or concerns regarding activities associated with the children in a particular classroom, then and only then would a board engage in a decision to file tenure charges."

Some community members have spoken out in favor of McVey being able to keep her job, to the dismay of the boy's parents.

"I am almost at a loss for words, to be honest. My son did nothing wrong, but yet this seems to be another case of blaming the victim," the boy's mother wrote in a letter to Greenfelder.

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