JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Education Commission gave former third-grade teacher Robin Welch Kennedy a taste of her own medicine.
Kennedy worked for Duval County Public Schools until the commission recently pulled her teaching license over allegations of mistreating students at Neptune Beach Elementary School in 2013, KIRO reports.
A colleague at the school told investigators that she witnessed Kennedy pull a chair out from under a student in her class. The teacher confronted Kennedy, who confirmed the student fell out of his chair “with a little help,” according to a commission report.
Now, Kennedy is out of a job, with a little help.
The teacher testified she witnessed Kennedy pull the same student on another student the same day, and pointed out that students were transferred from her class because of the problems.
Kennedy denied any wrongdoing, but her troubled history in the school district and run-ins with police prove she’s no angel.
District officials told WJAX Kennedy started with Duval County schools in 2006 and was suspended without pay for 15 days in 2014 after parents complained about her behavior, which included arrests for DUI and battery.
“Kids spend more time almost … with their teachers than they do at home, so they need to be shown all kinds of good positive things at school,” parent Brad Cowen said. “Yanking a chair out, I don’t think that would be appropriate for any teachers.”
The Education Commission ultimately suspended Kennedy’s teaching license for a year, and Duval County Public Schools officials terminated her immediately, KIRO reports.
The nearly four-year long process to remove Kennedy from the classroom – a union-dominated plagued with red tape designed to protect employees over students – left at least some parents unimpressed.
“I’m displeased that it took that long for her to actually get her license suspended,” parent Roger Hurley said.
Others vented their frustrations online.
“Not the kind of teacher I would want teaching my children,” Arien Cuesta posted to Facebook. “She may need to consider a new profession! You need a love of children to teach them and help them grow.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Mike Legg posted. “The teacher should never be in charge of kids ever again.”
“She should be fired with a mark on her record to never teach again and then criminal charges should be filed,” Shirley Young added. “She should be in jail.”
“Another member of the all powerful teachers union,” Larry DeFilippis wrote.