As classes begin, parents angry about district's handling of accused bully teacher



GIG HARBOR, Wash. - As classes started Tuesday for the Peninsula School District, some parents are upset despite the absence of a teacher accused of bullying a middle school student.


The teacher, John Rosi, was teaching at Kopachuck Middle School in Gig Harbor last semester when a group of students ganged up on one student and Rosi appeared to join in.


The incident was recorded by a cellphone camera.


Parents are upset about the way the school district continues to handle the incident.


Rosi was suspended without pay for 10 days.


Parent Michelle Marshman said she wanted her sons to have a positive start to the school year.


“We were really going to embrace a positive school year ahead,” said Marshman.


But Marshman showed the cellphone video of the incident to her sons so they could discuss what happened.


“We are very honest with the issues that bullying happens and we actually reviewed the circumstances of what happened here and then we role-played,” said Marshman.


Some parents said they felt that if the video had not surfaced, Rosi would have gotten off too easily.  As it stands, in addition to the 10-day suspension, Rosi had to attend training and was transferred to another school.


“The teacher should have been fired, the superintendent should be fired, and anybody who covered it up should be fired,” said another parent.


KIRO 7 Eyewitness News contacted the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, which is in charge of investigating teacher misconduct and can revoke teachers’ credentials if they find cause.  The person who handles investigations said the school district has not filed a complaint about Rosi.


“Of course OSPI should have known back in February and of course CPS should have known back in February, and of course the Sheriff’s Office should have been able to investigate, and I think it’s a shame,” said Joan Mell, who is the victim’s attorney.


Rosi was supposed to begin teaching at Harbor Ridge Middle School Tuesday, but because of the cellphone video, he was placed on paid leave instead.


Parents said they are also upset Rosi is getting paid to stay home. 


KIRO 7 called the superintendent for comment but has not received a call back.