Part of DC Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s reform plan for the school system was to arrange mass firings of DC public school teachers that were carried out in the middle of the school day, in front of all the students.
Later, in a magazine interview, she attempted to justify this action by saying that some of the teachers had sex with their students. She was forced to correct her statement, and then said that only one teacher had sex with a student.
Now, it turns out that the teacher was employed at a school for mentally ill students; a school that Rhee had developed as one of her pet projects. Due to bad planning, or lack of planning, the school was a disaster, understaffed, violent, and dangerous. And, one of the teachers was having sex with at least one student, in his classroom, with numerous reports that, although many were aware of the situation, nothing was done about it. And this is the guy who she cited to justify her heavy-handed mass layoffs.
The Transition Academy at Shadd Elementary School was touted as a centerpiece in Rhee’s efforts to redeem years of failures in dealing with traumatized or mentally ill students. It was to serve 175 teens and young adults who had been diagnosed as “emotionally disturbed.”
But by mid-October, federal court-appointed monitor Clarence Sundram, one of the world’s top experts on the treatment of the disabled, declared it a failure. “Shadd is a disaster,” he wrote to a colleague. “All of this bespeaks a lack of planning. ”
Pregnant Shadd student sues teacher
A D.C. special education teacher at Shadd Transition Academy had sex in his classroom with an emotionally disturbed 18-year-old student, resulting in her pregnancy, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.
The suit, filed Monday by Ayanna Blue, now 20, said that paternity tests show a 99.9 percent probability that Robert Weismiller, 58, the former Shadd teacher, is the father of her baby daughter, born November 28, 2009.
The suit, first reported by Courthouse News Service, alleges that Weismiller initiated the relationship in the spring of 2008, and names Shadd staff who said it was well known that the two were having a sexual relationship. One staff member, clinical psychologist Trawick Lindsay, said in the suit that Blue would "frequently visit" Weismiller’s classroom, and that he had observed her there during lunch period, with the lights off.
Weismiller was placed on unpaid administrative leave by school officials in May 2009 after they learned that Blue was pregnant. He was dismissed in Oct. 2009, not for his alleged relationship with Blue, but one of the 266 teachers let go for what Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee described as a budget crunch.
Rhee described Weismiller — but did not name him — in comments to "Fast Company" magazine earlier this year. To justify the layoffs, she said that an unspecified number of the teachers let go had had sex with students. She later amended the comments to say that only one was alleged to have had a sexual relationship.