Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Maine Teacher Mock Marriage To 4th Grader
From The Morning Sentinel:
A Falmouth elementary school teacher has apologized for participating in a mock wedding in which he was the bridegroom and the bride was one of his students.
Paul Rosenblum, a fourth-grade teacher at Plummer-Motz School, agreed to take part after much cajoling from his class, according to a letter to parents from Principal Karen Boffa. The girl's marriage proposal to her teacher had been much discussed by the class, and they felt it should result in a playground wedding, Boffa wrote in the letter dated June 29.
Boffa received five or six phone calls inquiring about the incident, enough to warrant an investigation by the principal, according to Superintendent Barbara Powers. None of the calls were from families of students of Rosenblum, a 22-year teaching veteran whom Powers described as a "very gregarious, teach-from-the-heart kind of guy."
Powers would not say whether any disciplinary action was taken against Rosenblum, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters.
"It's all being handled very deliberately by the department," she said.
Rosenblum declined to comment Monday.
Powers said she worried that the children might feel responsible for the incident when it was an adult decision that allowed it to take place. School officials have not disclosed the girl's identity.
"I think it was just lots of class joking around -- and crushes and things like that -- and the kids thinking it would be a cheerful, fun thing to do for the end of the year," Powers said. "And the teacher agreed to go along with it, just not thinking it through."
According to Boffa's letter to Rosenblum's students, the wedding was held during lunch recess June 18, the day before the final day of class, before a crowd of fourth-graders.
There was a brief ceremony, with Rosenblum wearing a black graduation gown and a clown tie as requested by students and the girl with a sheet draped around her clothes for her gown. Telling the audience that there would be no kiss, the teacher took the student's hand and they ran down the gazebo ramp toward the library at the end of the ceremony.
In his own letter distributed with Boffa's, Rosenblum apologized and promised he would work to win back trust if given the chance. [What - so he can reoffend again? - Drake]
"What I saw as theater on the playground -- a little girl's game of dress-up and make-believe -- was something of much greater gravity and consequence. The fact that an adult would consent to 'marry' one of his students, however light the intended context, shows a serious lapse in judgement ... To say that I am remorseful is true, but trite and hollow sounding. SICK with regret comes closer to the mark," Rosenblum wrote.
"Say 'no' to mock marriages with your students," apparently didn't make it into the teacher-training classes.
Yeah...what the hell was the teacher thinking. Any teacher should know to say "NO" to mock marriage, but with a 4th grader? I'm not saying the guy is a pedophile, but I wouldn't want him around my kids.
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