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Students of Wis. teacher offered study hall

  • Associated Press
  • January 25, 2014 - 2:55 PM

MADISON, Wis. — Students of a Middleton school teacher who viewed pornography at work are being allowed to transfer to a study hall if they are uncomfortable in his class.

Andrew Harris was fired from Glacier Creek Middle School in 2010 after he and other teachers looked at sexually explicit images at school.

The school board had pursued an appeal of an arbitrator's 2012 ruling that Harris had been unfairly terminated when compared with punishments handed down to other teachers. The state Supreme Court said recently it would not hear the case, prompting the district to comply with the arbitrator's ruling to reinstate Harris.

He is returns Monday to teach seventh-grade science at Kromrey Middle School, according to the State Journal (http://bit.ly/1ixGSVb ).

There will also be a second staff member with Harris for at least two weeks to ease parents' concerns, said Middleton-Cross Plains School District spokesman Perry Hibner.

Students won't get credit for the study hall. They won't get a grade for the science class, but that won't prevent them from being promoted to eighth grade or to high school, Hibner said.

Hibner said the district is hoping parents will feel better after students find Harris is professional in the classroom.

Harris' attorney, William Haus, said he suspects the district isn't acting in good faith to comply with an arbitrator's ruling that Harris be reinstated to an equivalent position.

"What they are really trying to do, they are trying to act like they are complying, but they are really undermining it," Haus said.

© 2014 Star Tribune