By Denise Dick
A McKinley Elementary School teacher’s teaching certificate has been suspended for 60 days after she was accused of showing a video to her classes that contained age-inappropriate content without previewing it first.
Linda Angelo, 61, signed a consent agreement filed this week with the Ohio Department of Education, agreeing to the suspension. The suspension is for two years with all but 60 days suspended. It will run from June 12 to Aug. 11.
During that time, she is prohibited from performing any educational activities, coaching activities or other duties that require ODE certification or licensure.
The video, shown to sixth-graders in Angelo’s classes last school year, “Pompeii — Life and Death in a Roman Town,” includes profanity, drawings of people performing sex acts and drawings and sculptures of male genitalia.
Angelo couldn’t be reached to comment, and Ron Rowe, president of the Poland teachers’ union, declined to comment.
Superintendent David Janofa said she has been on sick leave since Feb. 3. He wasn’t working in the district when the incident occurred, but he said it generated complaints from parents. Angelo was issued a letter of reprimand at that time. She went on sick leave at the end of last year.
She returned to the classroom this year.
Paul Sherman’s daughter was one of the students in the class, and he said the girl was very upset.
“She was tremendously upset by it,” he said. “She knew there was no way her mother and I would want her to see something like that.”
Some students were walking out of the classroom, Sherman said.
He has mixed feelings about the consent agreement.
“Suspending a teacher during the summer is like suspending a snow-truck driver during June and July,” he said. “There’s no grit to it.”
Sherman doesn’t believe Angelo should be a teacher.
“I don’t wish her any ill; just retire and be done with it,” he said.
Sherman reviewed the video and called the school the next day. Angelo, who showed the video during social studies, was reassigned to English. In October, Sherman filed a formal complaint with the state, he said.
Janofa said that upon joining the district, he conducted his own investigation and then referred the matter to the state for review.
“It’s a movie that was shown to sixth-graders,” he said. “The content was not reviewed prior to showing, and it was shown repeatedly.”
He viewed the movie and said the content is not appropriate for sixth-graders to view in a school building.
“The whole video is objectionable for sixth grade,” the superintendent said.
He hasn’t received the consent agreement and said it’s premature to talk about where Angelo will be in the district next school year.
Angelo must submit reports to ODE through her employer every three months, indicating whether she has engaged in conduct unbecoming to the teaching profession. She is “required to preview any videos prior to distributing them to students,” the consent agreement says.