Town Square

Post a New Topic

Former school teacher paid $225K in settlement

Original post made on Jul 1, 2011

A former elementary school teacher who resigned in 2009 was paid $225,000 in a legal settlement with the Mountain View Whisman School District, according to documents obtained by the Voice.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 1, 2011, 2:55 PM

Comments (15)

Like this comment
Posted by Zap
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Seems that when the parents have chosen not to do their job at home and send spoiled, self-absorbed, misbehaving children to the schools, the parents have no right to expect the school to spoil their little brats just as they do at home ... SOMEONE has got to make it clear to the students that when their precious little butts are at school, the TEACHERS are in control, unlike at home where the CHILDREN tend to be in control because the parents are sometimes just plain too lazy and irresponsible to continue their parenting duties ... sounds like this teacher had a spine and stood up to the complaining parents (like parent, like child) and called a spade-a-spade, and that she apparently expected the kids to come up with 4 when asked to add 2 + 2 ... "3, with an explanation" is an unacceptable answer, and is waaaay too touchy/feely as well as being flat out wrong ... it's along the lines of not keeping score so that "all of the children are winners" in the youngest little leagues ...

Like this comment
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 1, 2011 at 5:08 pm

I cant even begin to type what I really feel about the parents who complained......Just because there little Joey heard things his little cute ears didnt want to hear, he probably cried like a little sissy Daughter went to Huff and had Mr's P and she is better for it....

Im glad Mr's P got a cash settlement.....Im sure the attorneys got some too.....but she is a great teacher and you California Liberals disgust me......

Like this comment
Posted by MVWSD Watchdog
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Alas the truth Ex-Superintendent Ghysels and current Assoc. Superintendent Totter and the board all screwed this one up so bad it cost the school $225,000. Totter should be shown the door for not managing this problem correctly. Total incompetent personnel management.

Now the Voice should investigate all the teachers with no credentials in the district.

1 person likes this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 1, 2011 at 10:11 pm


I have no opinion of Mrs. P. But calling kids 'little sissy girls' is insulting all the way around.

Like this comment
Posted by PTA Parent
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 2, 2011 at 6:19 am

Well I have an opinion about the school district blowing through $225,000 and no doubt thousands more in legal fees. Money is precious for public schools, and this is an outrage.

Once again, an article is short on details with a few glaringly obvious and pertinent questions not addressed by the Voice (BTW now asking us for $60 a year to sustain their claim for "quality" journalism!). From what fund did this money come from? What programs or staff positions were cut as a result of this settlement? Why was the board not forthcoming with the truth? Read back and you will find that this story was broken by a commenter on this forum. Web Link

But alas, boys and girls, this is what happens when you have a skirt-chasing charlatan as a superintendent (by the name of Maurice Ghysels) and assistant superintendents and a board infatuated and blinded by his ego.

This settlement suggests that the school district had nothing on this teacher and really blew the handling of the situation as a personnel matter. Then again, personnel matters were hardly conducted on the up and up during the Ghysels regime and affair. We still have the other half of the equation still running about as if her conduct was anything but inappropriate.

What leader/mamanger/admnistrator was responsible for this mess and why haven't they been held accountable? Read back on the articles on the matter and it becomes apparent that Assist. Superintendent Totter has no idea how to handle human resources. All cases she was involved in should be reviewed for fairness.

Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 2, 2011 at 9:27 am

I recall hearing a principal saying once that once a teacher received permanent status (after two years), it took "an act of God" to remove them. This is a problem for every district -- teachers that, for one reason or another, districts want to fire but due to the union rules governing the due process involved, basically cannot. Until it gets to the point when they have no choice, and then they face lawsuits. Which would be way more expensive than settling. My point here is -- if you want to "blame" district administrators, you probably have to go back to way before Maurice Ghysels, Mrs. P pre-dated him by many years. And, being faced with a lawsuit, I'm guessing that what they paid her was considered to be the best arrangement financially for the district. There could be a block of money in the budget for legal fees -- every district is going to face some sort of suit at one point or another, I'm sure. The budget is public record, I think, so you could probably find this out if you want to.

Also, to those who never had a student in Mrs. P's class - you should refrain from making blanket statements about spoiled brats getting what they deserved. For those who had a kid in her class - Mrs. P was definitely a mixed bag. My kid was in her class and liked her. I was disturbed by a lot of Mrs. P's behavior in class and the way she spoke to some of the kids. But I also saw the good things about her teaching. For the kids who bore the brunt of her bad side, it was, indeed bad. For the kids who worked well with her, it was a good year.

Like this comment
Posted by Bubb Parent
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jul 2, 2011 at 11:35 am


It is strikingly obvious that you are either not from California or just simply so confused that you failed to recognize that California Liberals don't control the market on complaining about teachers. Making broad generalizations and blaming a class or group of people to make a point is a common tactic used to garner support for ideals that otherwise would be considered misguided/wrong. See McCarthyism, White Supremency, or Al-Qaeda. You may be correct about the teacher, Mrs P, but please keep to the facts.

Finally as a father with a young girl like you, I am appalled that you also used a term like "sissy girl" for fun or otherwise. I have done everything to teach my daughter that she is equal (not better) than everyone else, boy or girl regardless of her strengths or weaknesses. Labeling a school kid as a "sissy girl" is not only childish, but wrong. It indicates there is a class of girls that are lesser than others.

I feel people have to stop blaming others for the problems. In this case pointing the finger at Liberal parents of "sissy girl" son. Please think before you type.

Like this comment
Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:06 pm


If you wonder why teacher unions are getting crunched from Wisconsin, to Illinois, to Ohio, to New Jersey, look no further than our own backyard. Gov Brown needs to put an end to this crap in California.

Like this comment
Posted by Math Tutor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:55 am

Thomas, I've tutored a lot of kids, and the ones whose parents are most in denial about how little effort their children put into their studies always seem to have conservative bumper stickers. Those parents make tons of excuses why their kids can't do the "extra" (read "remedial") work I recommend. And because I'm a tutor, not a psychologist, I always wind up dropping these kids (gently) because their parents are enabling them.

Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 3, 2011 at 8:04 am

And that kind of logic and mathematical study proves why you are only just a math tutor?

Isn't this article more about the district failing to manage teachers and then paying for it? If the cashier in a store is mouthing off to customers, is it the customers fault or the fault of poor management?

Like this comment
Posted by Math Tutor
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Huh: Awfully presumptious, aren't you ? I never said I'm "only just" a math tutor. And I was giving anecdotal data (not a research study) to contradict Thomas' gross stereotyping, which was based on even less than that.

And, if it disturbs you so greatly that a discussion starts with one topic and changes gears based on the inputs of other posters, than discussion boards may not be the right place for you.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Thoughtful
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 3, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Hello everyone! I don't know what Mrs. P's wrongdoing was, but lets get something straight. The school district goofed up and they are paying her. It is not a great thing to admit, but someone mentioned Totter. Yes, I agree she needs to resign. It is time for her to move on and she has done many great things, but managing the personnel issues have not been her forte. The hiring of several Graham principles that came from outside and did wasted nothing but precious time for our young children's lives. Not wanting to go with the hiring boards recommendation for principal and instead getting who she wanted and feed nonsense into Maurice's ears. I WANT TO BEGIN A CAMPAIGN TO ASK FOR TOTTER'S RESIGNATION.

Like this comment
Posted by Jason
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 3, 2011 at 3:39 pm

GROW UP! The issue is not liberalism or conservatism. It is more likely spoiled brats, who can't stand to have their feelings hurt, as pointed out by Zap (july 1). Conservatives can be just as spoiled as anybody.

Like this comment
Posted by Justin
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Math Tutor got owned. Liberal and conservative parents both need to slap their kids around a little bit more.

Like this comment
Posted by The Eye
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 4, 2011 at 11:38 pm

The Eye is a registered user.

I remember when I was in school, and had a teacher like Mrs. P. We were reading each other's essays in English class, and the student reading my essay was stumbling over the advanced vocabulary I used, and whined and complained of it, to which my teacher replied: The author is not to be expected to lower his vocabulary to suit the reader." God, I loved that teacher! You go, Mrs. P! They should have given you even more of a settlement. A quality education costs, but the true currency of education is genuine student effort.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Burger chain Shake Shack to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 18 comments | 4,965 views

The Cost of Service
By Aldis Petriceks | 1 comment | 1,201 views

Couples: When Wrong Admit It; When Right; Shut Up
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 718 views