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Idiot update: Fake gun-attack school officials suspended briefly

By Michelle Malkin  •  May 15, 2007 01:32 AM

Here’s the latest on that Great Moment in Public Education I linked to yesterday: Two of the public educators who thought it would be peachy to scare the bejeebers out of elementary kids on an overnight field trip by faking an unannounced gun attack in the dark have been suspendedbut only until the end of the school year, which is just a few weeks away:

Director of Schools Marilyn Mathis has suspended lead teacher, Quentin Mastin, and assistant principal, Don Bartch, for unprofessional conduct and neglect of duty due to actions taken with Scales Elementary School students on May 10, 2007 at Fall Creek Falls State Park. The suspension is without pay and will commence on May 14, 2007 and continue through the end of this school year ending June 1, 2007.

From the school’s website, here’s a photo of Bartch:


Mastin is nowhere to be found; the sixth-grade teachers’ page has been disabled. (Update: Readers send Mastin’s photo via Google cache.)


Mastin has a young son. How would he feel if his teachers/caretakers had pulled a stunt like this on his child without his permission? (Hat tip: Tony R.)


[And] here’s a glimpse at the school’s mission statement:


Some of those poor kids were no doubt seeing stars after what Mastin and Bartch pulled on them. And some of their parents are justifiably upset with the slap on the wrist:

Brandy Cole, who said her son told her he wished he hadn’t gone on the trip, said she was disappointed the teachers didn’t receive a harsher punishment.

“I’m glad that they saw fit to take disciplinary action, but basically they’re getting two weeks of vacation. That’s not discipline; that’s two weeks off without pay,” Cole said.

“They should be treated just like a student would be if the shoe was on the other foot.”

Bartch and Mastin were among four teachers and two assistants who last week chaperoned 69 sixth-graders on a weeklong field trip to Fall Creek Falls state park, about 130 miles southeast of Nashville. The students were told Thursday night that there was a gunman on the loose and they had to take cover.

Some got upset and started to cry. According to the school district, the prank was used by teachers as a learning experience to teach kids how to react in a “code red” emergency situation, and the few students who got upset were comforted afterward…

I’m all for toughening kids up and teaching them survival skills. But not without their parents’ consent and prior notification, for Pete’s sake.

Message to educrats: They’re not your damned kids. They’re not your guinea pigs.

Stunts like this give new meaning to the “loco” in “in loco parentis.”

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