September 16, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria teacher reprimanded after comments recorded

ELYRIA — A longtime Elyria teacher has been reprimanded after a parent’s voicemail recorded the teacher’s rant aimed at the mother and her 7-year-old son.

Kindergarten teacher Marci Yingling called parent Ashley Moore about her son, but did not reach the parent and left a message on her voicemail. She hoped to talk with the parent about classroom issues and documents that the parent requested.

“But she neglected to hang up the phone, so the line stayed open,” Superintendent Paul Rigda said. “She was frustrated, venting to another colleague while the phone was not in the cradle. The mother’s voicemail recorded the ranting and remarks.”

Yingling can be heard calling the student a baby and saying he has no common sense and the mother probably still wipes his rear end.

Rigda and Crestwood Elementary School Principal Megan Pacione both called Moore to apologize on behalf of the district.

“There is no excusing what happened,” Rigda said. “We know it was hurtful to hear. I can’t undo it or make it go away, but I am certainly sorry.”

The incident took place late last week.

Rigda said the district has addressed the matter.

“This is not what we do. It’s our job to take students where they are and how they are and do the best, all the while getting the parents on board as our partner,” he said.

The teacher has since attempted to apologize to Moore, but Rigda said the parent does not want to speak with her — something he said is understandable.

Moore has withdrawn her son from Elyria Schools.

A letter of reprimand was placed in Yingling’s personnel file.

The letter called the behavior inappropriate and said any future actions of similar nature could result in additional discipline, up to and including termination.

Rigda said Yingling is apologetic and the actions are not in line with her tenure with Elyria Schools.

“We have had no complaints until this incident,” he said. “She apologized, accepted the written warning and signed it, knowing it will be there until she retires. She is also embarrassed that this has tarnished the image of Crestwood and Elyria Schools.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.


  • Guest

    There are alot of great teachers in Elyria Schools but I’ll bet if the mother would have heard it and it wasn’t a recording…nothing would be done. I’ve called Rigda before about an issue and spoke with his secretary who promised a call back and never got one. The teacher is not sorry…she was caught being very unprofessional!! I’m sure it’s not her first negative comment on a child. Such a shame, it puts a bad image on the district when one of the EHS teachers just recieved the national top teacher award.

    • Mark B

      This is the type of people teaching the kids , and they want a raise

  • Pablo Jones

    Shouldn’t a 7 year old be higher than Kindergarten. I thought they start kindergarten at 5 and at the end of the year might be 6. Not criticizing the kid, the grade and age just seem off.

    • banshee70

      Some children start later than others. My son has a summer birthday and had some developmental issues, so I held him back a year. He was 6 in kindergarten, and turned 7 a month after kindergarten ended. It is possible he just turned 7 recently and the parent may have started him late due to developmental issues.

    • Greg White

      Thats correct. Why is a 7 year old still in kindergarten?

    • Feya Too

      There is a lot going on in her home that has contributed to the situation and that teacher’s frustration. Regardless, what the teacher said is excusable.

  • Jessica Capers

    Mr’s. Yinging is an amazing teacher. I’m surprised this has happened. My son loved her his Mr’s. Y! Teachers get a bad wrap. I pray for the parent that has the voicemail and Mrs. Y. We all need god in our lives

    • banshee70

      No, we all need to be more respectful towards others, you don’t need god for that, you just need to be a decent human being. What a person presents them self as to you may not be the same person they are behind closed doors. There is recorded evidence, that’s not a bad rap, it’s fact.

      • Tom

        It’s a fact but it’s only one incident. It’s sad but it only takes one mistake to ruin a teacher or someone’s life.

  • Sis Delish

    Would be interesting to record chat at end-of-the-scholastic-year Teacher’s parties after the educators have had a few cocktails or wine… Then, after the evidence is presented to the taxpayers, see how many of the imbibers pull out their “I’m Tenured get out of Everything” Card…

    Yes, folks, Teacher’s are humans and not entitled to raises just because they are Teachers.

    • Sis Delish

      Game over, :-)

  • ekwaykway

    George Orwell’s nightmare vision of the world is here. Cell phones, cameras, my posting this can be directly traced back to me. Be careful what we say and think is the order of every day. Neighbors can easily video parents disciplining their children, anything. Scary ain’t it?

    • Phil Blank

      Odd you should mention that, both of these are online

      PBS FRONTLINE part 1

      United States of Secrets (Part One)
      How did the government come to spy on millions of Americans?
      01:54:11

      FRONTLINE part 2

      United States of Secrets (Part Two)
      FRONTLINE investigates how Silicon Valley feeds the NSA’s global dragnet.
      53:41

      • ekwaykway

        Reading this article about a teacher caught with the proverbial pants down reminded me of the corporate email I received about emails being admissable in court. Cell phone records, hard drives, are permanant damning records to everyone. I feel for both parties in this case.

  • golfingirl

    Maybe, just maybe, the teacher was right?

    The child may be too immature, even at the age of seven, to be in kindergarten.

    But, the teacher still should have handled it in a professional manner.

    • Jim

      I agree with you, except for the last part.

      How exactly is discussing the issue with a colleague in unvarnished terms “unprofessional”? Do you think when the Browns coaches get together and talk about players (in private), they same the same things and use the same words as when the talk about players publicly? Of course not.

      Noone likes to hear that their child isn’t doing well, and it’s unfortunate this mother overheard a private conversation that gave a candid view of her child… but it doesn’t make the teacher unprofessional in my opinion.

      • golfingirl

        Good point.

  • Phil Blank

    Was just on the Today show and a video of mom was on there too.

  • Tori Fox-Lambert

    I would have withdrawn my child from that school too! If a teacher finds the need to announce to other teachers ( who may have your child in class one day) the short-comings of your child, this will profile your child through out elementary school. I look at this as a form or bullying on an adult to student level. Horrible!!!

    • Jim

      This isn’t even close to bullying. The teacher was giving her candid opinion to another teacher. There were no students around. You can’t bully someone who isn’t there.

      Guess what? People will talk about your kids their whole life. Deal with it. Not every child is destined to be the next President of the United States

    • stop ur whining part deux

      hahaha. Are you really naive enough to think that problem children and their issues are not spoken about at length by teachers? That has been going on for as long as there has been a school system.

      Furthermore when i was in third grade i had a teacher very bluntly inform both of my parents i was being a little f@#cker. Guess what, she was right. Guess what else happened, my father disciplined me until I was no longer a little f@#cker.

      Sometimes the most blunt form of criticism is needed. This is 100% the case today in schools. There is a tremendous lack of parenting that exists in our culture today where mommy and daddy would rather be their child’s best friend instead of raising a well adjusted kid.

  • Phil Blank

    I’ve heard a teacher at a charter school from an open window as I walked by.
    Using the four letter “S” word as she yelled at the kids.

    • Anastasia Smith

      I heard some things at a neighborhood school, heard it again the next day, recorded it, without having to leave my yard and reported it. Needless to say I’ve not heard it since. Hmm, haven’t seen her since then either. You don’t talk to children like this “professional” person was.

  • Greg White

    What you have to realize that children are a reflection of the parents. So the teacher snapped. The way it is today is that teachers have to be a parent and a teacher because the kids are getting no discipline at home. And since parents want to be friends with the kids instead of parents we have things like this going on with a 7 year old on his 2nd year of Kindergarten. Is that the teachers fault? Its not a good thing that these things were recorded and the teacher was talking to a colleague. So I am sure there is another side to this story.

    • anyMo

      While I’ll agree that sometimes this is true, it is not always the case.
      Most parents raise their children to have respect and morals. As they
      age and peer pressure takes over, they pay more attention to friends and
      have less regard for parents and authority. In this case, the child
      seems a bit young for that to have happened yet. Looking at his age, he
      could have behavioral issues. That being said, the district couldn’t
      care less about “getting parents on board as our partner”. Rigda is
      talking out of his rear end. I’ve made several calls all the way up the
      chain trying to get answers or help and I’ve either been ignored
      completely or given meaningless lip service.The administration likes to
      put on a good front for the public but if you actually have a problem
      and need help, forget it. They don’t want anything to do with it. All
      they care about is passing that test. From the teachers all the way up
      to the top, the majority don’t want to deal with any issues. Yes, there
      are those who are awesome and go above and beyond to do what’s in a
      child’s best interest…but they are few and far between. People need to
      wake up and look under the covers of ECS…this type of behavior and
      this attitude happens ALL THE TIME.

      • Greg White

        I guarantee you that my girl wouldnt dream of letting her friends get her hung out to dry. When they get older you have to bear down a little more to keep them in check. Just dont throw up your hands and give up. Its the PARENTS responsibility to set the tone and stop blaming the problems on somebody else.

        • anyMo

          There are no guarantees. Don’t fool yourself. Bearing down only pushes them further away. I’m not saying that your daughter will choose this path, I’m simply saying that it happens to the BEST of parents. Pointing the finger squarely at the parents of unruly children is wrong. Most of them are just like you and I…passing on the morals that we were raised with. When kids stray the path, the schools aren’t interesting in “helping”. They want the child out of the way so that they don’t have to be involved. They don’t want to deal with “problems”. They will push you and your child out of the system before dealing with any issues and trying to help improve the situation.

          • Sis Delish

            Do tell, I’d like to hear more about this behavioral tendency of our hallowed educators.

          • anyMo

            Oh, I could tell you some stories, Sis. Too much to lay out in this forum and it would take quite a while. Who’s buying the first round? :)

          • Sis Delish

            We talking about ammo or cocktails?

          • anyMo

            HAHA! Cocktails. I know you have a “reputation” around these parts but the written word is different than the human character. I don’t judge a book by its cover because I don’t like others to do that to me. Nothing wrong with intelligent discussion and debate. I can agree to disagree and shake hands as friends at the end of it all. That’s how it should be.

    • Pablo Jones

      Maybe I’m wrong but I didn’t see anywhere in the article that said the kid was acting up or misbehaving. The teacher called because the parent requested it.

      • Greg White

        Its says “She hoped to talk with the parent about classroom issues and documents that the parent requested.”. Documents and classroom issues! So Little Johnny is not completely clean here!

        • Pablo Jones

          Issues and documents that the mother requested? So the mother said she would like to talk to the teacher. They never said what the issues where. Maybe the parent wanted to talk to the teacher about issues with the school work or how he child was doing. Maybe the kid was being picked on and she wanted to talk to the teacher about that. I doubt the mother would request to talk to the teacher if the kid was misbehaving, usually it would be the teacher calling to inform the parent.

  • Otter

    I heard the recording this morning, hardly a “rant”, I would call it, PC gone too far. What the teacher said was hardly news worthy, she said he was a big baby, and his mother probably still wipes his butt, big deal. Maybe she was right, she was trying to contact the mother regarding some classroom issues, and now the mother refuses to talk to the teacher, and is pulling the child out of the school.
    Looks to me like the apple did not fall far from the tree.

    • Sis Delish

      ahhh… remember the Chris Sito episode… Sticks and Stones.

      • Otter

        Yes I do, but don’t see the correlation.

        • Sis Delish

          Sorry, its clear… Sito got shunned for speaking his mind… Will this Educator also find the rath of the community for speaking out against our precious little ones? Stay tuned…

          • Otter

            Hardly the same thing, he wanted to deny students their rights, she (in my words, not hers) called a student a brat. Too bad the mother had to hear it in a voice mail, but sometimes the truth hurts.

          • Sis Delish

            Was Sito an Educator spouting off, or John Q. Public? Big Difference.

          • Otter

            Exactly what I said, two different situations…

          • Sis Delish

            Disagree. Both attacks were aimed at the precious little members of our society, all under the age of 18.

          • Otter

            And a certain NBA owner…about the same offense? So racial slurs, denying gay students their rights, and being over heard calling one child immature, all one and the same in your mind. Got it, but don’t agree with it.

          • Sis Delish

            In each instance, someone’s “feelings” were hurt. In two out of three instances, the “perp” had to pay.

          • Otter

            Like I said, got it, don’t agree with it. Enough said.

          • Sis Delish

            Are you, or have you ever, been a member of the Teacher’s Union, the Teaching Staff, of the School Administration? It’s the only thing I can think of which provides you with blindfolds in these three similar situations.

          • Otter

            Nope, none of the above, I’ll try this one last time. I understand what you are saying, I don’t agree with it. That’s all. This may be too simple a concept for you, agree to disagree.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            wrath*

    • tickmeoff

      So true Otter! Another version of I am taking my ball home with me if you don’t play with me. The kid is immature, and how many of us have been accused of that! And actually have been. Political correctness stops us from learning the truth and being the best we can be. It’s a fine line between being mean and constructive criticism. When I reflect on my own school days and see my many mistakes, It was my fellow students and teachers that put me in my place. A far better place than I was in. I cringe when I see the K-12 commercials for online school, and how socially behind these kids are going to be. It’s no fun being picked on and being corrected, but it does make you a better person. You learn how to handle yourself emotionally. It is part of the maturation process. You often learn more from your enemies than your friends!

    • jz

      Got that. The teacher is probably right and the mother is confirming it.

  • Sis Delish

    A Certain NBA Owner lost everything for about the same offense…

  • Amber

    What ever happened to “Mind your words and actions towards others.”? Both of my children go to Crestwood Ele. This should be a lesson for everyone… Just because you think people can’t hear what you’re saying about them, doesn’t mean it’s alright to say. The people working WITH our kids should know better. I think if everyone thought about their actions or words (which is what they have been teaching the kids there for YEARS.. Stop, Think then act) it would make it easier on all parties involved. Parents, teachers and children should be more worried about working together, rather than trying to one up on bashing each other!

  • Pablo Jones

    Here is the question. Do you want teachers to be fake and pretend that each kid is their favorite student and each years class is the best they have ever had. Or do you want the teachers to be honest. I’m not saying being fowl and rude, but professional about how they conduct their classroom.

    When I was in school it was pretty clear which kids the teacher liked and didn’t like and I knew which ones didn’t like me. And you acted accordingly. It is a life lesson the kids need to learn. Too often kids think everyone is good and their friend and that they can tell them anything. This frequently gets kids in trouble.

    • Sis Delish

      According to current standards, EACH child wins an award for breathing.

  • SandyLey

    Instead of being so defensive about what she overheard this mother would be better served to evaluate “little Johnny’s” behavior. There is a reason for this teachers frustration. Remember…The only people that think your kids are perfect is you.

    • Pablo Jones

      Again they never said the kid was misbehaving. For all we know the kid was being picked on and told his mother. The mother then requested to talk to the teacher and the teacher thinks the kid is being a baby about it.

      As far as kids go I think my kids are little hell raisers that are going to drive me into an early grave. But according to everyone else they are so well behaved.

  • LAB1660

    The only thing the teacher did incorrectly was how she handled the phone itself. She is certainly entitled to vent her opinion about a 7 year old in kindergarten, just that she needs to be careful to conclude a phone call properly and never put those thoughts in writing anywhere. This situation looks suspiciously like this child needs other guidance in his education because of either intellectual or emotional challenges. Putting a very immature child who may not be able to conduct himself with behavior expected of a certain age group into a regular classroom is a recipe for disaster. None of us knows exactly what the underlying problems are here. This child may be in need of an IEP or an adjustment in an already-established IEP. We must all remember that public schools must take each and every child who resides in their districts and deal with all the baggage each one brings to a classroom. No child should be so disruptive as to disturb a classroom atmosphere and prohibit others from learning. Maybe this is what needs to be addressed. Looks like the child’s mother is in denial over her son’s needs.

  • stop ur whining part deux

    Sometimes the blunt truth can be far more effective, especially given the LARGE lack of parenting these days. This teachers only mistake was not leading with the off color remarks.

  • Todd

    A warning letter? What a reprimand!

  • John Demirjian

    Maybe it was a stroke of luck that the phone was not in the cradle and that the parent heard some truth about her child. Maybe the kid is still a baby and doesn’t use common sense. Maybe it was all true.

  • Smira29595

    Take your meds.