The Vermont Department of Education (DOE) has just imposed sanctions on a teacher, Robert Koziol, who destroyed a special education student's file. The DOE procedures are rank mockeries of the department's obligation to supervise aberrant teacher behavior and punish teachers who seriously break the rules.
The department suspended this teacher's license for 10 days for admittedly destroying the student's file. The trouble is that the 10 days were all during the just-ended holiday vacation, so the teacher wasn't working during the suspension, anyway. He resumed teaching just as he would have without the suspension.
Further, the public will never know why he destroyed the file because the Department of Education has declared that all of the details are protected from being known by confidentiality requirements, the retreat of all bureaucratic cowards who want to cover-up what happened for undisclosed reasons.
Thus, a teacher who broke the law (by law such files must be kept intact for five years), for some reason never to be known by a public that entrusts their children to this teacher and other such teachers every day, is punished with a punishment totally without meaning or value.
Having delivered this travesty upon the public's right to know, just listen to the palpable sanctimony of the administrative perpetrators.
Mark Andrews, superintendent of Essex schools, said he trusted the wisdom of the Vermont Education Commissioner's decision to issue a 10-day license suspension and allow Koziol to continue teaching. "When Robert Koziol came to see me, he told me what he had done and didn't really have an explanation for me," Andrews said. "I didn't feel like it was my position to probe too deeply since it was under investigation at the Department of Ed."
Koziol worked for two years at St. Albans City School as a special educator. His employment ended June 30 of this year, said Bob Rosane, superintendent of schools in the Franklin Central Supervisory Union. Rosane offered few details on the incident that led up to Koziol's license suspension.
"We followed through on our reporting, but other than that it's really confidential," Rosane said. "We are pretty vigilant about making sure that we're on top of these things. When they come to light, we report, and that doesn't preclude any internal follow up that I can't really talk about it," he said. "That's the supervisory union's responsibility, is to be on top of these things. Parents who wonder about the circumstances behind the sanction should take heart in the fact that the school took action," Rosane said. He would not comment on whether Koziol left St. Albans willingly or was terminated.
That last comment ought to really comfort parents who wonder what is going on. It sure sounds like a clubby little cover-up to us. At best, it is a dereliction of reporting duty on both superintendents' parts and on the DOE. It sure is nice to have friends in high places.
Courtesy, Vermont Press Association