Education

Students Rally in Support of Controversial Teacher

KOMO News (RVP news partner)

RAINIER BEACH – Dozens of Seattle high school students mounted a public protest Friday in support of a teacher accused of choking and slapping a student.

The accused teacher, Andy McCool, is on paid administrative leave and isn’t allowed on the South Lake High School campus, but that didn’t stop students from taking to the sidewalks to say they believe the popular teacher is being framed.

“We really love our teacher and this is really unfair to him,” said student Jennifer Romero-Diaz.

Seventeen-year-old Abisai Guerrero claims McCool choked and slapped him during class on Wednesday, but the protestors say the charges are overblown.

“He just grabbed him by the hoodie,” said Mixy Reyes. “Choking is when that person can’t breath. He wasn’t actually chocking him.”

Guerrero hasn’t been back to school since Wednesday’s incident, and he said he’s afraid he’ll get into fights if he does return. He also admits the protest hurts.

“It makes me feel (like) they’re supporting him more than what he did to me,” he said.

Students at the protest said Guerrero has nothing to fear, except public shame for what some are calling a gross exaggeration if not an outright lie.

“That’s why he’s scared to come to school, because he knows what he did is wrong,” said one student. “But he can still fix it. He could still say the truth.”

McCool has so far refused to comment on the incident.

4 comments on “Students Rally in Support of Controversial Teacher

  1. If they charge him with a felony, our justice system is completely out of whack. He shouldn’t have touched the kid (and should receive a warning/probation on his employee record), but I tend to agree with the rest of the students on this one. I think the kid is exaggerating to get back at a teacher he doesn’t like and to get out of school. Should be sassing the teacher anyhow. He has no respect for his teacher and I doubt he has respect for honesty either

  2. Well, I am not informed at all about what happened, which I hope means that I am not trying to make an assumption about this situation.

    But when I was in high school, we had a teacher whose students adored him immensely (including me). As things went, most of his students would have defended him to no end (he was also suspended for unacceptable behavior). We couldn’t believe when the accusations happened, and we were angry at the accuser. Also, most of us interacting with him were fine with most of the behaviors. But the sensibilities of those who were not comfortable are important, even if most of the students are cool with it.

    In the end, though, there are just lines that a teacher cannot cross, and it would seem to me that any physical act grabbing at a student is over that line.

    Again, I don’t know this situation, so I cannot claim that something did or did not happen. But I think we should either wait for the truth or try to respect everyone’s opinion on this one.

  3. We do not know what happened in that class at that time. But – I am feeling proud of the students at this “alternative”school for standing up and protecting someone who just may be a very good teacher. Stuff happens. I hope the other students in that class at that time are heard before sentence on the teacher is levied.

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