Apr 18, 2013 10:22 PM by Chris Welty

Suspended Teacher is Fighting for His Job

A Carencro High teacher is screaming retaliation. He says he was suspended from his job after speaking out about violence inside the classroom.

Thursday morning, Jamal Taylor was escorted from the campus and now, his job is up in the air.

Taylor has a stack of paperwork documenting why he thinks he was let go.

On February 25th, he wrote an email to the principal saying he was disappointed a student who threatened to shoot him was allowed back on campus.

Then, on March 8th, Taylor wrote to another supervisor about a teacher he says acted unprofessionally.

On March 21st, Taylor wrote the principal and several other supervisors about classroom procedures but says he's afraid to speak out more because of possible retaliation.

After those three incidents, on April 3rd, Taylor spoke to the school board. He was among others who addressed violence in the classroom and teachers being afraid to speak out.

Thursday, Taylor was given notice he was suspended from school and Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper says they had cause.

Jamal Taylor says he called it. Both in emails with his supervisor and at the meeting where he spoke, he said teachers were being punished for speaking up about issues at their school.

"I asked the superintendent to open up the line of communication for the teachers because there's a sense of fear," said Taylor.

Carencro High Principal Ken Roebuck says he can't comment on personnel issues. KATC was given a letter by the teacher that says he was being disciplined for insubordination, creating a hostile work environment and failure to follow procedures and protocols. That letter is dated April eighth, five days after speaking up at the school board meeting.

"The teachers are grumbling. The deafening silence you hear is not because people are agreeing. I for one will not be an idol spectator to this sort of foolishness," said Taylor.

Cooper is standing by Principal Ken Roebuck's recommendation to fire Taylor and says it's not retaliation.
"Based on the records I was given, this gentleman didn't fulfill his responsibility as a teacher," said Superintendent Dr. Pat Cooper.

Now it's a waiting game for Taylor. He will be paid for his seven-day suspension, but promises if he's not allowed back after those seven days, he will be seeking legal counsel.

"I may be terminated, but the teachers deserve better," said Taylor.

A representative from the teacher's union, which Jamal is a part of, says they will back Taylor even if it goes to court.

Click the link for the exchange of letters between Jamal Taylor, Carencro High Principal Ken Roebuck and Superintendent Dr. Cooper : Carencro High Letters.pdf

Chris Welty



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