District pays ex-teacher $225K settlement
A former elementary school teacher who resigned from her position at the beginning of the 2009 school year was paid $225,000 in a legal settlement with the Mountain View Whisman School District, according to documents obtained by the Voice.
Patricia Polifrone, the former Huff Elementary fourth grade instructor who drew the ire of some parents for what they called "abusive" teaching practices, was paid $112,500 upon reaching the settlement around September 2009, and another $112,500 in January 2010.
The stated purpose of the agreement, was to "negotiate Polifrone's resignation from the District, and release all claims that Polifrone may have arising from her employment and the publicity surrounding it."
The settlement contained a "covenant not to sue" condition. It also stipulated that neither Polifrone, nor the district, were admitting wrongdoing in agreeing to the settlement.
The former Mountain View Whisman teacher was to begin teaching at Graham middle school at the beginning of the 2009-10 school year. She was transferred to the middle school after a group of parents of Polifrone's students at Huff complained that she verbally berated her students.
"This abuse has done so much damage to so many students," said Christine Fortes in emails to the Voicearound the time of the controversy.
In the Voice's online forum, some readers defended Polifrone, saying the concerned parents were overreacting.
Polifrone could not be reached for comment.