To bad this law can’t be made retroactive.

New law takes effect:

(Larry “Doc”) Neace got in trouble with his principal two years ago, after he lowered the grade of a student who fell asleep in class. The principal told him to reverse the action, but Neace declined. As the school board weighed whether to fire him, students rallied to his support. Some put up posters at Dacula High that read “Where’s Doc?” and “Free Neace.” Others passed out fliers that read, “Forget the whales, save Doc.”

About 200 students packed the hearing. Gwinnett County’s school board voted 4-1 to fire him, citing a school board policy against using grades to discipline students. The State Board of Education upheld the decision.

State legislators tackled the issue this year with a bill that some called “Doc’s Law.” The law makes it an ethics violation for a principal to coerce or intimidate a teacher into changing a grade.

A principal still can change a grade without a teacher’s permission, but the change must be noted on records along with the person responsible for making the change, said State Sen. Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock).

“I don’t want to say ‘poster child,’ ” Rogers said of Neace, “but he was an example of what was wrong with the current law.”

Oh by the way, the student disciplined was a football player.

2 comments

  1. EAVDad says:

    It’s a great issue, but it’s not really black and white. This law, as written, would NOT have saved Doc Neace’s job. Because of these words in subsection (a) of the law.

    …This subsection shall not apply when a teacher has failed to comply with grading policies or rules adopted by the local board of education or written procedures established by an individual school that are applicable to the grading process…

    Neace DID violate the school’s grading policy which, in general, said a student’s grade could not be docked for non-academic reasons (such as sleeping in class). Certainly one could debate that policy, but regadless, this law would not have protected Neace.

    Neace was fired for defying school policy after he was explicitly told not to.

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