Firing tenured teachers can be a costly and tortuous task - Los Angeles Times.
The district wanted to fire a high school teacher who kept a stash of pornography, marijuana and vials with cocaine residue at school, but a commission balked, suggesting that firing was too harsh. L.A. Unified officials were also unsuccessful in firing a male middle school teacher spotted lying on top of a female colleague in the metal shop, saying the district did not prove that the two were having sex.
The district fared no better in its case against elementary school special education teacher Gloria Hsi, despite allegations that included poor judgment, failing to report child abuse, yelling at and insulting children, planning lessons inadequately and failing to supervise her class.
Not a single charge was upheld. The commission found the school's evaluators were unqualified because they did not have special education training. Moreover, it said they went to the class at especially difficult periods and didn't stay long enough.
Four years after the district began trying to fire Hsi, the case is still tied up in court, although she has been removed from the classroom. Her lawyer declined to comment on her behalf. The district's legal costs so far: $110,000.
Classroom ineffectiveness is hard to prove, administrators and principals said. "One of the toughest things to document, ironically, is [teachers'] ability to teach," Wallace, the Daniel Webster principal, said. "It's an amorphous thing."