Right before filing for an appeal, Nicole LeMire sat down with NBC4 to answer questions about what she did when her students accused one of their classmates of bullying.
NBC4’s Liz Adeola asked what LeMire would say to the boy’s father. The student allegedly came home in tears with a note from school with all the bad things that were said about him.
“Well, that note that got to him, was never intended for his parents,” LeMire said. “It was basically just a little list of things that I was starting. It was…it did not, was not addressed to the parents. It was actually surprising and shocking to me that it was even in the parents hands.”
According to the Olentangy School District, the note included things the child’s classmates said they did not like about him and why he did not have any friends.
The district alleges LeMire “asked students in her classroom to take turns saying how the student (‘Student A’) had acted badly, violated rules or insulted them, and/or why Student A was annoying or had no friends. Ms. LeMire required Student A to listen to classmates’ complaints and refused to allow him to respond or defend himself against potentially embellished complaints.”
LeMire said she was in the back of her classroom with a group of fifth-grade students, and called the boy in question back to speak with her. She said she asked him if he knew how he was hurting his friends, because a student had just approached her about it.
Other students piped up and said they also had an issue with the boy, she said, adding that he had tackled someone in the hallway the day before.
LeMire said she tried to reach out to the boy’s parents, too.
Assistant Superintendent Linda Martin said LeMire has had “multiple discipline issues.”
“This teacher has more discipline issues than 1,200 teachers we have in our district,” Martin said. “This teacher most recently encouraged her whole class to publicly humiliate a child.”
The district says LeMire refused to let the boy speak up for himself and, if he did, she allegedly made marks to remove his recess privileges.
” The tallies at the top, and I think there were 7, were from when other students … were saying something,” she said. “And the student being accused was yelling and arguing and kind of trying to interrupt them. So this was after several times when I asked him to let them finish their sentence and their thought.
“I didn’t take recess (from him).”
LeMire claims that she was just trying to have a teachable moment with her kids about bullying.
Martin said the student at the center of this case did not have any instances of bullying on his school record, while LeMire does have a history of being written up and was suspended in the past.
“I encourage people to read her personnel file read that information and get the whole picture,” Martin said. “I think you’re just hearing the side of a disgruntled teacher.”
LeMire filed a formal request for a public hearing on her firing Wednesday.
She waived her right for the hearing to happen over the summer break so the earliest she could learn about her fate as a teacher in the Olentangy School District is when school returns in the fall.