Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi
232 Pearl St.,
Stoughton, MA 02072
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Statement of Stoughton Superintendent of Schools in Response to Arbitration Decision
STOUGHTON — Superintendent Marguerite Rizzi and the Stoughton Public Schools issue the following statement after the release of the arbitrator’s decision related to teacher discipline:
An arbitrator recently upheld the District’s right to discipline a teacher for discussing the discipline of a student with other students. While it is undisputed that the student’s actions were wrong, and he was disciplined for them, the arbitration was about the teacher’s actions, not the student’s.
Contrary to what was previously reported by other sources, the teacher was not disciplined for discussing a controversial topic. Rather, as the arbitrator agreed, she was disciplined for her conduct, which violated the student’s rights. The arbitrator states in the Decision section of her award, “…it is a legitimate expectation that teachers will not discuss a student with another student….” And the arbitrator further states [the teacher] was disciplined “….for failing to provide the appropriate educational climate, for failing to perform her roles and responsibilities as a teacher, and for failing to exercise sound judgement….” “She was not disciplined for attempting to turn the student discussion to a ‘teachable moment’ concerning the Holocaust…..”
We wish to reiterate, as was said at the time, all students and staff members were safe at all times, and that appropriate steps were taken by administration to address all of the complicated aspects of this incident while caring for the rights of all of the parties involved.