The Florida teacher has been accused of abusing students for decades, including calling a biracial student a “mutt”.
A Florida teacher has been accused of harassing students through allegedly racist remarks and personal attacks dating back several decades but has still managed to keep his job.
Todd Harvey, a social studies teacher at Wharton High in Tampa, has an extensive file of complaints against him, including allegations of giving a Nazi salute to a German student in class and a “mutt” to a mixed-race student, Melanie Copeland to name.
Harvey has been described as a “mercurial white man” who has taught at Hillsborough County Public Schools since the late 1990s, primarily at Wharton High, which serves primarily black students.
“I understand that it is not uncommon for this man to make students cry.” wrote one parent in 1999.
The Tampa Bay Times recently ran a report on sexual harassment at the local Hillsborough County High School that prompted a former mixed-race student to contact the newspaper about Harvey’s behavior toward her family.
Tampa teacher Todd Harvey has been accused of mocking female, black, latino and queer students in his classroom for over 20 years
“I thought I was the only one who had a serious problem with Hillsborough County trying to sweep things under the rug,” said Melanie Copeland. What she didn’t realize was that both teachers and parents had complained about Harvey before she was born
Harvey taught social studies at Wharton High School in Tampa, Florida
The report cataloged at least 23 allegations of misconduct against Harvey, ranging from making inappropriate comments towards students to overt racist gestures.
The paper also noted that some incidents were not documented by school administration, which would be a violation of district policy.
The school district refused to provide details on specific examples, citing student privacy laws, but the Tampa Bay Times managed to document those that were known to have been reported to the school administration.
Harvey wanted to know what Copeland had entered as her race on government forms.
He told her to enter “mutt”.
“I thought I was the only one who had a serious problem with Hillsborough County trying to sweep things under the rug,” Copeland told the Times. What she didn’t realize was that both teachers and parents had complained about Harvey before she was born.
In August 1997, Harvey began working at Walker Middle School as a school suspension supervisor. The following year, he began working at Riverview High School, where he continued to oversee suspension at school and also coached baseball.
Melanie Copeland reported a racist incident involving her teacher at Wharton High
On Monday night, Copeland posted on Instagram how her story was finally being heard
Harvey, who taught social studies at Wharton High School, was never reprimanded or disciplined, despite being suspended for five days without pay in 2015
Harvey is accused of calling an interracial girl a “mutter”, performing a Nazi salute at a German student and using a metal pipe to smack across students’ desks when they fell asleep
In September 1999, Riverview principal Vince Thompson emailed Harvey regarding a parent’s complaint about Harvey playing music in class. The principal had previously instructed Harvey to discourage such behavior.
One student also reported that Harvey regularly humiliated students and made it difficult for them to concentrate with the noise.
In December 1999, a parent filed a report stating that Harvey had shamed students with divorced parents and that his punishment style came across as harassment. Two months later, in February 2000, the same parent claimed that Harvey had expressed anger at the complaint and hatred towards the parent’s daughter.
In March of the same year, another parent reported that Harvey had called his daughter “slutty” and a student said Harvey had told her he was planning to divorce his wife and marry her when she turned 21 .
An investigation was launched and Harvey was reprimanded for his inappropriate comments. Principal Thompson warned Harvey that future remarks would result in a recommendation for termination.
During a game against a Fort Myers school, a Riverview pitcher threw a ball at an opposing player’s head. The Fort Myers principal asked Coach Harvey if the pitch was intentional, but Harvey denied it. The following month, the Fort Myers director reported that a Riverview parent had claimed that Harvey had told the pitcher to hit the opposing player. It is not clear how this complaint was resolved.
Harvey has been described as a “merciless white man” who has taught at Hillsborough County Public Schools since the late 1990s
The allegations against Harvey date back to 1999
Harvey transferred to Wharton High School in August 2000 as a social studies teacher.
It was six years before Wharton principal George Gaffney reprimanded Harvey for allowing students to pay him to improve their grades and for making inappropriate comments to students in September 2006.
Two years later, in October 2008, a parent reported to Wharton’s new principal, Bradley Woods, that Harvey had initially refused to postpone a student’s test to observe a Jewish holiday. Harvey eventually relented, but the student missed additional material that appeared on the test and received a D grade on the exam.
A quieter period follows in October 2014, when a parent named Kathy Brothers complained that a German exchange student they were hosting was having a rough time in Harvey’s class.
The student claimed that Harvey called her “Germany” instead of her name and bullied her.
Brothers had previously reported that Harvey gave a Nazi salute to another German exchange student.
In November 2014, the District opened an investigation into Harvey’s treatment of the exchange student after Brothers reported that Harvey had retaliated by taunting the student to her classmates.
Eight other students made various allegations against Harvey during the investigation, including making fun of Latino students, calling a transgender student an insult, demeaning women, using inappropriate nicknames, and frightening students with a metal bar that he carried a fall across their desks would knock them to sleep.
The investigation closed in March 2015, when Harvey received a five-day suspension without pay.
He was warned that future inappropriate interactions with students would likely result in his termination.
In December 2016, a teacher at Wharton Principal Woods came forward after a student claimed to have received a high score on an exam in Harvey’s class because it matched the answer sheet he had provided them.
An investigation was launched, and Harvey received a written reprimand in February 2017 for violating Florida’s testing laws. All of his students’ grades were voided.
Harvey is believed to still teach social studies at the Wharton School, although his name no longer appears on the school’s website.
In a statement accompanying Harvey’s story, district spokesman Tanya Arja said grievances are generally handled at the school level, where issues may not be documented or brought to the attention of the district.
“Incidents involving Mr Harvey were investigated and he was gradually punished,” Arja said.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/florida-teacher-accused-of-abusing-students-for-decades-including-calling-biracial-student-a-mutt/ The Florida teacher has been accused of abusing students for decades, including calling a biracial student a “mutt”.