Judge Upholds Firing of NJ Middle School Teacher for Sexual Harassment, Was Suspended Without Pay Almost Two Years Ago, Complaints Dates Back to 2003

it's a middle school not a dance clubA middle school teacher in
Woodbridge was
(without pay!) for the last 20 months over a series
of sexual harassment complaints made by students and at least one
fellow teacher. The teacher, James Lang, was tenured and under a
union contract that meant the school’s decision to terminate him
could be reviewed by a state judge. The administrative judge ruled
last week that Lang should be fired, that he was “not fit to lead
in an educational institution,” that he “violated all standards of
decency,” and that the middle school teacher’s “grotesque and
sexual behavior” helped create “a sexually demeaning environment.”
 Lang was accused of calling his female students hos, whores,
and prostitutes, and making sexual advances toward them as well as
at least one female teacher.

Amazingly, the judge’s decision is still not final. Lang’s
attorney, who denies the charges, says he is planning to appeal the
decision; it can be overturned by the state education commissioner.
These are the benefits of tenure, a concept originally formulated
to protect college-level educators from reprisals for teaching
unpopular subjects or opinions, not to protect perverts who manage
to land jobs at middle schools. How did Lang get to tenure in the
first place? The accusations date back to 2003, the year Lang
started with the Woodbridge Public Schools, but he received
“consistently satisfactory” performance evaluations,
to MyCentralJersey.com, which also reports he worked
at three schools in the district. Among the accusations against
Lang related to his interaction with middle school students

• Calling a student “Jo-Jo the Ho-Ho” and a “dirty ho,”
slang terms for a prostitute.
• Calling a student a whore and suggesting that she wear less
clothing on dress-down day.
• Telling a female student who bent over to pick up a paper that he
would “tap that.”
• Asking students during class whether they would be afraid if his
“snake were in their bed.”
• Saying that a female student’s “mouth was fast and on the
weekends it runs extra fast.”
• Telling his class that he used to watch students shower at a
former job at a community center.

Despite public sector unions insisting their employees have the
right to “due process” in employment, not being terminated
immediately for these kinds of accusations, at the discretion of
administration, is not a right, nor a privilege that ought to be
extended to them.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/09/judge-upholds-firing-of-nj-middle-school

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