A New Brunswick, New Jersey, teacher has been late more than 100 times over the past two school years, but the staggering number of tardies still isn’t grounds for termination.
According to Yahoo! News, Arnold Anderson, an elementary school teacher at Roosevelt Elementary School, will be allowed to keep his job despite his staggering number of tardies and board members’ requests for his termination. For those who missed it, Anderson recently became the center of controversy when board members voiced punctuality concerns. The complaints are reportedly due to the staggering number of tardies Anderson has had over the past two years — 111, to be exact.
According to NewsDay, the arbitrator revealed the breakdown of Anderson’s tardies is recorded at 46 times during the 2015 school year through March 20, and approximately 65 times during the 2014 school year. The arbitrator also criticized Anderson for attempting to justify his tardiness with “micro-quibbles of a few unpersuasive explanations, with a macro-default position that even when he is late he nevertheless delivers a superb educational experience to his grateful students.”
However, the 15-year-old veteran educator, who reportedly makes $90,000 a year teaching, still feels his effective teaching abilities have outweighed his continuous tardiness, reports Daily Mail. He argues that he would usually be approximately one to two minutes late, but always prepared for class when he arrived. Now, the alleged reason for his tardiness has garnered national attention.
Apparently, he spends a little too much time eating breakfast and his morning ritual is often the reason why he’s a bit behind schedule. “I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning, and I lost track of time,” Anderson told the Associated Press. But, regardless of his arguments, the school board still felt he made a baseless attempt to justify his tardiness and that breakfast isn’t considered a substantial excuse. So, why wasn’t he terminated? Apparently a small, but significant, oversight led to a ruling in Anderson’s favor.
— jmouryl (@jmouryl) August 29, 2015
Yahoo! News reports that the arbitrator cited the district’s failure to provide Anderson with proper notice of his misconduct. Anderson should have been given “90 days to correct his failings before terminating his employment.” So, instead of losing his job, he’ll only be suspended for the semester because of the school board’s minor mishap. The number of excessive tardies reportedly resulted in a suspension without pay until January 1, 2016. Although Anderson isn’t too pleased about the suspension, he admits it isn’t as bad as losing his job.
As a result of the ordeal, he now knows what he needs to do to avoid repetitive occurrences in the future. On Friday, August 28, he released a brief statement with the solution he’ll be implementing going forward. “I have to cut out eating breakfast at home,” he said. “I will be early.”
Do you think the tardy teacher should be fired for his excessive tardiness? Share your thoughts.
[Photo by Sean Gallup / Getty Images]