January 29, 2014

Middle School Teacher Reinstated After Watching and Sending Porn at Work

WI School District & Union Are Not Protecting Children

A Wisconsin middle school teacher, Andrew Harris, was reinstated with $200,000 in back pay after being fired for viewing porn during work and sending it to other teachers. The local teachers union spent about $700,000 in taxpayer money on legal fees to fight for Harris’ job. The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, which has Internet filters in place, must comply with the judge’s verdict to keep Harris on staff. Mr. Harris started teaching 7th grade science class again on March 27, 2014.

“This is outrageous! We commend the school district for initially firing Mr. Harris. However, the union and judge are supporting this unprofessional and unethical behavior,” says Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director of Morality in Media. “Do we really want our children exposed to sexually exploitative content at school? And in what workplace is it acceptable to send sexually harassing content along to your colleagues?”

The teachers’ union’s first obligation should be the safety and wellbeing of the children. The union should also be concerned about the welfare of Harris’ coworkers – colleagues were allegedly sent pornographic content that may qualify as sexual harassment.

It is well documented that child predators have a history of pornography use and often act out what they have seen. There is evidence of this on the MIM site pornharmsresearch.com. If there are not protections in place, schools and libraries become a hostile and unsafe environment for children and workers. Though we do not know Harris’ behaviors, it is understandable that parents are concerned about the wellbeing of their children.

While the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District is struggling with this crisis, they state in a letter to parents that even if parents “don’t want [their] child in Mr. Harris’ classroom, … [the school doesn’t] have another instructional option available and [they] won’t reassign students to a different … classroom.” This is disappointing because parents may not feel safe sending their children to school if there is no alternative. The school district should make the arrangements necessary to satisfy these concerns.

 

*UPDATE: Gov. Scott Walker (R-W.I.) called for the state superintendent to revoke Harris’s teaching license. CLICK HERE to read the full story.

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