Teacher put on leave after bully video goes public

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GIG HARBOR, Wash. - A middle school teacher in the Peninsula School District has been put on paid leave after a bullying video was made public this week.

 

A cellphone video taken in February appears to show bullying in a Kopachuck Middle School classroom. The teacher, John Rosi, allegedly participated in the act.

 

School officials said they disciplined Rosi, gave him a 10-day suspension and forced him to participate in classroom management training. He was then transferred to Harbor Ridge Middle School.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Deborah Horne spoke with an outraged parent about the video.

 

“You know, they put the guy back in the school. What’s going to happen? Parents like me, other parents I know are going. We’re going to protest. We’re going to pull our kids out. It’s just not acceptable,” said parent Jennifer Keenan.

 

Rosi was set to teach math at Harbor Ridge Middle School for the upcoming year, and Keenan’s daughter was assigned to his class.

 

“But she has instructions from me that if she walks in and sees him, that she is to leave the room immediately and call me, and I will come get her,” Keenan said. “If it were me, I would have fired him.”

 

Acting school superintendent, Chuck Cuzetto, told KIRO 7 they will not fire Rosi, but parental pressure forced them to act upon the situation.

 

“His presence there would make it very difficult for the school to operate,” said Cuzetto. “There are a number of parents that have asked for their students to be transferred out of his class at Harbor Ridge. The principal was trying to work with those parents, but at this point, it’s not possible to accommodate all those transfers. There would be a lot of disruption in the building so he’s been put on leave.”

 

Cuzetto said Rosi will remain on leave until the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office finishes its investigation into the case.

 

On Friday morning, the sheriff's office investigated a threat that was left on the comments section of the Peninsula School District’s website Thursday.

 

The comment was a reference to the bullying incident at Kopachuk Middle School and threatened violence if the teacher did not resign.

 

Detectives served a search warrant at a Lynnwood apartment in connection with the threat. They said the resident poorly-worded the comment.