Teacher fired due to letter sent to newspaper

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Associated Press

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 9:01 PM

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — The McCracken County school system has fired a teacher who helped a student write and send a letter to the local newspaper complaining about school safety.

The newspaper sent the letter to law enforcement, which led to officials closing Reidland High School and an adjoining middle school for one day in December while possible safety threats were investigated. The schools re-opened the next day without incident.

The teacher, Shawnda Pacheco, told The Paducah Sun (http://bit.ly/10UbV5K) that she was terminated Friday as a direct result of the letter.

District officials declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.

Pacheco had 11 years of experience teaching Spanish in the school system.

She said Superintendent Nancy Waldrop expressed concerned that she didn't use the proper chain of command to report her concerns about schools safety.

"Did I do the right thing? I think so," Pacheco said. "I may not have gone about it in the right way, but I would rather err on the side of caution. I didn't want to bite my tongue, which is what every teacher will do from now on, I guarantee."

She said Waldrop told her that she facilitated in bullying by naming a specific student in the letter and saying the youth had "brought weapons twice" to school, and that she was insubordinate.

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Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com

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