Napping on the Job

You may have seen this story in the news:

(SANDUSKY, OH) The Perkins Schools Board of Education voted Wednesday to fire a veteran teacher who continually arrived late to class and fell asleep on the job.

The board voted unanimously to follow the recommendation of a referee who found Carol Smith's conduct "totally unprofessional, inappropriate, unsafe, outrageous, flagrant and persistent and threatened the safety, security and welfare of the students."

Smith, 71, had been suspended with pay since April.

Allegations arose that she discussed pornographic magazines with a freshman history class. During an investigation, several students told administrators that Smith also arrived late to class and slept during a study hall period...

But by arriving late to class and falling asleep, Smith failed to supervise her students properly, Taich wrote, and the school is lucky nothing went wrong. 

"Leaving middle school and high school children unattended without adult supervision is an accident waiting to happen," he wrote. 

She testified during the hearing that she wanted to teach one more year before retiring because her pension would be $900 more per month once she reached 35 years. She said she has health problems, including a sensitivity to light that requires her to rest her eyes. 

Smith acknowledged falling asleep once while supervising in-school suspension at Briar Middle School in September 2008. Principal Stephen Finn issued her a written reprimand for sleeping during school on four separate dates that month. 

Administrators disciplined her three more times before the start of the 2009-10 school year for sleeping during work or missing class periods.

It's unfortunate that both parties were not able to work this out a couple of years ago, when supervisors were first made aware of Ms. Smith's apparent health-related issues after 30 years on the job.

On a lighter note, if administrators think that a sleeping teacher in the classroom is dangerous, I am not sure what they would call my driver's education instructor from high school--a guy who was apt to snoozing on the job. 

"Mr. Noodlebay" would take short naps while we practiced our driving around town.

I think his grading system was, if you operated the motor vehicle so that he did not have to wake-up and assist you, then you were awarded an "A".  Hit too many potholes or brake suddenly and cause Noodlebay's eyes to open, you could expect a low grade.

Just for the record, I avoided the road hazards and was given an "A" for the class. 


Matthew Rush said...

Why can't more companies be like Google? Free lunch for employees and they provide pods in which you are expected to take a nap when needed. Talk about understanding human resources.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

I can't believe your driving teacher did that!

Bob G. said...

71 is pushing it for teaching...(imho).
But if she was a volunteer, that would bring up some other issues.

She could have used darkened glasses for the light sensitivity.
Musta messed with her driving in early mornings.

BTW, interesting observations about Drivers Ed...LOL.

Have a great weekend..


My Husband's Watching TV... said...

That's crazy. I understand what the teacher is saying she wants more money but if she can't perform the job 100%, she should take it upon herself to recognize that. Happy Friday Slam!

aconnectiontomyheart said...

"suspended with pay"?!?!.. Excuse me, where is the punishment here? Oh I see, the punishment fits the crime, he can go home and snooze even more.. ! >:(

Candice said...

I agree with you, it's unfortunate that they couldn't work something out after 30 yrs of service!

Herding Cats said...

I kind of feel for the lady. Only because, I'm 28 and I get sooo tired while I can only imagine what it would like to be 70 plus and on the job. At the same time, it's probably time to retire.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Ha, that's great. And you turned out to be a fine driver I am sure.

kathryn said...

Wow. I can't decide whether to feel sorry for that teacher. I mean, it's not like these kids were pre-schoolers. Middle-school and HS kids aren't toddlers, for God's sake.