Rash of teacher perverts in Valley schools

A teacher at a Peoria high school has been fired after administrators learned he had previously been terminated by another district for videotaping his children’s 13-year-old babysitter changing clothes in his house and lying to district officials about it, the daily reports.

Officials at Skyline West Prep weren’t aware of past misconduct by Thomas Hetherington, a science teacher at the Peoria charter school.

He has been terminated after court records revealed he hid a camera in his children’s bathroom to videotape the young babysitter as she changed into her swimsuit.

He acknowledges the incident and claims he thought she was older. If you don’t believe that, he also says it was a one-time incident and will never happen again.

Hetherington passed a complete background check when he was hired by Skyline West Prep in November 2007. At the time Hetherington was hired, a database for the Arizona Department of Education had no records about his problems at Paradise Valley Unified where he had previously taught. References at the district raised no red flags.

“Mr. Hetherington had a valid fingerprint card when hired and throughout his employment with Skyline Schools,” Assistant Superintendent Brian Shipman said.

Hetherington has withdrawn his application for renewal of his secondary teaching certificate and the board is pursuing disciplinary action against his remaining substitute certificate.

Seeing Red AZ is seeing red at this betrayal of trust as sexual predators are back in Arizona classrooms. Read a few recent posts on the topic here, here, here and here.

5 Responses to Rash of teacher perverts in Valley schools

  1. sherriaz says:

    Meanwhile, individuals who have a Bachelors degree and wanted to transition into teaching after being laid off from other careers face many hurdles. The so called accelerated program only really works for people with educations and work experience in science and math areas. All others must return to school for 18-24 months. There is no streamlined program for them and there is no money to get them into classes. They must take out loans, which they cannot afford after lay offs.

    These people are more mature, less likely to be products of NEA biased education, involved in their communities and have clean records. They would be real assets to teaching and can afford to make the salaries offered. But the state is not doing enough to assist them. Meanwhile, perverts slip through the cracks and attack our kids. Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.

  2. Sam says:

    What Sherriaz says makes a lot of sense. Community colleges often hire those who have experience, rather than a degree, in the field they are teaching. I’ve taken classes from such instructors, and they were among the best I’ve had. There’s that old saw, “Them that CAN, do. Them that CAN’T, teach.” I think it applies here.

  3. Ellsworth says:

    When I was a student growing up here in Arizona, there was not even a rumor of such inappropriate behavior by teachers. We looked up to them as mentors and scholars. What’s happened in the intervening years to change this? How about the coarsening of popular culture and sexuality being promoted for selling everything from cars to dishwashing detergent? How about skyrocketing divorce rates and religion being given a back seat by the US Supremer Court?

  4. Kate says:

    Thank you SRAZ and Ellsworth; I couldn’t agree more. Note the media spotlight on Catholic priest’s transgressions since 2002, with no equal coverage for these teachers.
    Yes, it doesn’t fit the liberal media mantra to beat up only on the conservatives. And the NEA and AEA are powerful political agents who would jump(with both their large, leaden boots)on any media personalities who would dare to expose the percentage of offending educators.

  5. Jack says:

    Obviously, this problem would be solved if we could just do as the NEA and AEA demand and “get more money in the classroom.”