News

Teacher on paid leave after student calls police

 

A teacher at Selby Lane School in Atherton has been placed on paid administrative leave after a student in his class called Atherton police to report that the teacher was yelling and that she felt threatened, according to the Redwood City School District.

Police responded to the elementary school at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, after the girl called and made the allegations about her teacher, John Haynes.

In a prepared statement, the school district said that when the police arrived, they "found a calm classroom, with no students in danger."

Police Lt. Joe Wade said the 13-year-old student called the police from the campus restroom, saying that the teacher "was going crazy and throwing tables." She sounded genuinely scared, he said.

When officers arrived at the classroom, he said, they found class in session, everyone was calm, "and there wasn't anything strewn around."

After talking with the teacher and students, the officers determined that "there was no criminal activity," Lt. Wade said. The teacher had lifted a table up a couple of inches from the floor and let it drop to make a loud noise as a way to get the students' attention, and the table had toppled over, he said.

No disciplinary action has been taken against the teacher, who was placed on leave so the district could investigate the student's allegations, the school district's statement said.

"Administrative leave is a procedure that is used to protect the rights of both teachers and students; it ensures that facts are determined before any conclusions are reached," the statement said. "(It) allows time for a full assessment of the situation; input is gathered from students, teachers and anyone involved in the situation.

"After the situation is investigated and the facts are determined, the district decides on an appropriate course of action and determines whether discipline of either teacher or student is warranted."

Superintendent Jan Christensen said the district hopes to conclude the investigation within a matter of days.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Mar 4, 2011 at 8:05 am

The only thing that requires investigation is the contract the school has with its furniture supplier. The table should not have toppled over.

But as far as John Haynes being place on adminstrative leave -- that is simply another case of Liberals Gone Wild. The teacher must be in firm control of the classroom and was totally within his rights to regain the attention of the students.

However, I do question the judgment of Superintendent Jan Christensen. The police reported their findings and that should have been enough. No wonder costs are out of control when the Superintendent wastes valuable time by going on an adminstrative wild goose chase. Sounds like there is a staff with too much time on its hands. Perhaps their should be a reduction in adminstrative overhead.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 4, 2011 at 9:09 am

This is ridiculous. This is nothing more than a hysterical 13 year old girl making obviously unfounded accusations. Probably because she wasn't paying attention or was being disruptive. What are we coming to when we take this kind of garbage seriously? The principal should have sent the girl home for the day for making false accusations.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 4, 2011 at 10:34 am

The teacher lifted the table a couple of inches and dropped it to get the students' attention?

I'm surprised they didn't go into "lock down" mode and activate the SWAT team.


Like this comment
Posted by bob
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I agree with everything said this call should not have been made. If this girl was traumatized by this she is going to have a tough life, because it doesn't get easier. When I was in school banging on a table was a lot better than some of the punishments I recieved, all were desrved.


Like this comment
Posted by Ha
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Just another attempt by the Atherton PD to attempt to justify it's existence. Another big story today was their dramatic arrest of a guy who allegedly stole a hammer from a pickup truck.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2011 at 5:41 pm

[Post. Please avoid speculating about what happened.] I remember being 13 - no thanks! Poor teacher - I hope that he recovers & the students learn from this - to be quiet & respect their teachers. [Portion deleted.]


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm

The student's overreaction isn't the issue. She's a kid with a cell phone.

But the overreaction of the police, the principal and the superintendent are inexcusable.

They all owe the teacher an apology.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 5, 2011 at 8:58 pm

POGO, the kid started it [portion deleted] & she needs to held accountable, in the manner appropriate for her age, for the chain reaction she started. I agree that the [portion deleted] administrators involved behaved stupidly - total over correction.

I hope the teacher gets reinstated. Perhaps he should sue.


Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Mar 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Sorry, but I don't expect much from a 13 year old student.

But I do expect more from the ADULTS on scene - especially the police, the principal and the superintendent. That this teacher was put on paid leave is a travesty. The adults have overreacted and compounded a non-event.


Like this comment
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2011 at 12:25 am

Oh brother. Another reason why cell phones should not be allowed in the classroom. I hope this teacher was able to enjoy time away from the students. Heaven knows they need it.


Like this comment
Posted by Tape
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 6, 2011 at 8:14 am

The APD released the dispatch tape (why I don't know) and the San Mateo Daily News site has it online. During the beginning of the tape, the dispatcher seemed pretty good. But as it goes on, it becomes obvious there's really nothing to this situation and the more appropriate response would have been for the dispatcher to call the principal and ask them to check into this first before determining whether any police action was needed. But they (APD) are hungry to get some good press after so much bad press, the miscalculation seems to be that this would reflect well on them but in fact it does not.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Mar 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Thanks, Tape, for the info. I agree APD is hungry for good press - but this was a lousy way to try to get it. Really, really stupid.

POGO, having been a 13 y/o girl, I have higher standards because I'd never have done anything like that & neither would my friends. I totally agree w/you re the adults.


Like this comment
Posted by Tape
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Mar 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

[Post removed. Offensive language and speculating about the facts.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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