Middle school teacher accused of watching porn in class

Tampa Bay Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/middle-school-teacher-accused-of-watching-porn-in-class/1246224
By Marlene Sokol

TAMPA — A middle school teacher could be fired over allegations that he watched pornography in class and exposed his students to pornographic material.

David Tenney, 51, taught AVID, a study skills class, at Liberty Middle School in New Tampa.

Tenney was in his sixth-grade classroom using his personal laptop computer when inappropriate pictures popped onto the screen in full view of the students, according to a letter from the Hillsborough County School District.

That happened more than once, officials said.

“In addition,” the letter states, “it was reported that while in your classroom during instructional time, students observed you watching a pornographic video on your personal cell phone.”

The letter is not clear about when those events occurred. The school’s principal notified the professional standards office on April 27.

The district released the letter Thursday in response to a request from the Tampa Bay Times. Officials did not release Tenney’s reply. He declined to comment.

The letter goes on to say that when district officials first asked Tenney for his computer and cell phone, he refused.

Tenney is accused of immorality, insubordination, persistent violation or willful refusal to obey laws or policies relating to the public schools, and failure to demonstrate competency in his job.

He was suspended Aug. 10 and he can ultimately be fired.

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