Citing a report at the Ocala Star-Banner, the New York Post said that 53-year-old middle school teacher Thomas Roger Allison Jr., has been placed on unpaid administrative leave and may lose his job after bullying and harassing Future Farmers of America students who raise livestock for slaughter, calling them “murderers.”
Superintendent of Schools Heidi Maier wrote a recommendation for the teacher’s termination, and said that Allison “has engaged in a repeated, egregious pattern of mistreating, ridiculing, insulting, intimidating, embarrassing bullying and abusing FFA students, crushing their dreams and causing them to feel that they must discontinue FFA activities to enjoy a peaceful school environment.”
“When the animals’ throats are being slit, they are calling out your names, asking why you are not coming to save them,” Allison reportedly said, according to the letter.
According to the Star-Banner:
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Allison is further accused of harassing the FFA teacher adviser and encouraging his honors science students to harass the FFA members. A district investigation has revealed that Allison is on a quest to end the animal agriculture program because of his beliefs in animal rights. And, Maier alleges, Allison has made it harder for FFA students to get good grades in his science classes.
On Tuesday, Maier recommended that the School Board fire Allison. He told district investigators that he would not stop speaking out against animal slaughter. Allison, who will remain on unpaid leave pending a hearing before the board, said he is innocent.
“I deny these allegations,” said Allison, who will be represented by Clearwater attorney Mark Herdman at his hearing. “I love working in Marion County and love my students. I will fight for my job.”
According to Horizon’s FFA adviser, Allison “encourages his aquaponics students to disrespect the FFA students and herself when the aquaponics students are in her room.”
“Allison told students that he was obtaining his certification in agriculture so that he could take her (agriculture teacher’s) job to stop the animal projects,” the report adds. “This has upset and confused the FFA students, who do not want their academics to suffer because of their involvement with animal projects.”
The Star-Banner said that Allison “was named as one of the five finalists for 2016 Golden Apple teacher of the year honors.” The outlet also referred to him as the “county’s version of Bill Nye the Science Guy.”
That tells us pretty much everything one needs to know…
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