Friday, May 7, 2010

'Kids learn better in a relaxed atmosphere'

"Allegations of 'inappropriate touching of male students' by the assistant principal at Skelly Elementary School were first reported to the principal in October," the Tulsa World reports.
A longtime teacher who worked at Disney Elementary School when Yerton was there said that she and at least 40 other teachers reported inappropriate behavior by Yerton with male students to the principal.

"When we would line up in the hall, he would always comment on what pretty eyes he has," she said referring to male students in other teachers' classes. "He would touch them and put his hands in their hair. He massaged their shoulders. He would pick them up and put them on his shoulders and slowly slide them down his body."

The teacher said Disney's principal always defended Yerton and even made him a "team leader" in charge of a group of his fellow teachers.

"I told him (the principal), 'Robert's touching these boys and massaging them.' My principal responded, 'Kids learn better in a relaxed atmosphere and Robert's just using relaxation techniques.' Another teacher went to the principal and he told her she was just overreacting."

The teacher said the principal's inaction drove her and many of her colleagues to request transfers to other schools in the district.

"It wears on your nerves. It was borderline, but he always had rooms in portables (classroom trailers) and his door was always shut. He had kids to come after class for anything he could find. Never girls, though, only boys," the teacher said. "You don't touch children. That's the bottom line. Massage techniques are not appropriate."

The teacher added, "This has bothered me for years—I wished I could have taken it farther, but we were more or less under pressure to keep our mouths shut."

No comments: