A Florida teacher has found himself under hot water after being suspended for allegedly repeatedly using the N-word in class.
The man reportedly told 7th and 8th grade students not to date African Americans “because they are not worth it,” among other allegations the school district reported after conducting an internal investigation.
David Swinyar taught math at Kernan Middle School in Jacksonville, which is part of the Duval County School District.
Heavy reached out to a spokesperson for the district who said Swinyar is appealing “the pending matter,” and further stated that his “employment contract with the district expires June 30, 2018.” In addition she said the school had “previous judicial experience with a very similar matter.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. REPORT: Swinyar Said ‘If Your Boyfriend Says Bad Things to You…That Means That He’s Acting Like a N***R
According to the district investigation report obtained by Heavy, Swinyar used the N-word in front of students on more than one occasion and advised them not to date black males.
“If my daughter was dating someone who used the ‘f’ word, I wouldn’t have any respect for that n****r,” the middle school teacher stated, according to the report.
The report also accused Swinyar of stating the following:
If your boyfriend says bad things to you and/or treats you wrong, that means that he’s acting like a n****r,” the middle school teacher stated, according to the report. You all should not be dating all these different African Americans [sic] boys because they are not worth it.
Over two dozen students in Swinyar’s class served as witnesses for the report, with most stating they clearly heard Swinyar use the derogatory term. Black students were among the witnesses who spoke out on the teacher’s disturbing behavior, according to the report.
2. He Is Also Accused of ‘Staring at Female Student’s Breasts’ & Belittling Pupils for Having Low Test Scores
In addition to being accused of using the N-word, a female student said Swinyar caused her to feel uneasy because he allegedly “makes female students uncomfortable by staring at their breasts and other parts,” the investigation uncovered.
The report also stated that “Mr. Swinyar belittles students by talking down to them about their FSA scores.”
“You are only enrolled in my class because you performed poorly on the standardized testing (FSA),” the teacher is accused of telling his class.
“Additionally, it was reported that Mr. Swinyar ‘yells’ at students and confronts them in a ‘physically aggressive manner,'” reads the report.
3. One Student Called His Mother After a Disturbing Incident, & Swinyar Allegedly Responded by Calling Him a ‘Liar’
After Swinyar used the racial slur during another alleged incident, a student in his class went to the school’s office to call his mother and tell her about what happened.
“Mr. Swinyar yelled at the student and called the student a liar,” an office assistant told investigators. “He also snatched the phone away from the student.”
4. He Was Suspended Without Pay, & ‘Will Not be in the Classroom for the Remainder of This Year’
Heavy reached out to the Duval County School District, who emphasized that “since Swinyar appealed his outcome, it remains a pending matter.” Because of this, Duval School District Media Relations Supervisor Laureen Ricks said “the ability to comment is somewhat restricted.”
Ricks did provide Heavy with a letter written by Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Patricia Willis, which was addressed to school board members. The letter, which also speaks of a similar previous experience within the district, states:
As you know, we have received numerous community and media inquiries regarding the approved Suspension without Pay of David Swinyar. Communications and Human Resources staff are working jointly to provide appropriate responses to the inquiries while concurrently protecting against the release of any information that might adversely impair our ability to defend our actions against the appeal that Mr. Swinyar has filed with the Florida Department of Administrative Hearings.
The district’s actions in this matter were consistent with the approved Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) which governs employee discipline. Specifically, the CBA provides for the following steps in Progressive Discipline: Step 1 – Verbal, Step 2 – Written Reprimand, Step 3 – Suspension without Pay, Step 4 – Termination. In order to skip a step, we must demonstrate that the conduct is severe and in doing so, we consider factors such as the employee’s previous disciplinary history, if any, potential harm to the physical or mental well-being of students and/or whether the conduct impairs the employee’s effectiveness in performing his/her duties or confidence in the eyes of the students or parents.
In the current matter, the district determined that the specific facts supported a conclusion that Mr. Swinyar’s conduct was severe and therefore recommended that two steps in the process be skipped. We are confident in our ability to prove the allegations by a preponderance of the evidence in a state administrative hearing and that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will recommend that a final order be entered sustaining the suspension. We believe this recommendation to be supported by the record of a previous employee discipline matter with similar allegations of misconduct.
In the previous matter, Duval County School Board vs Joyce Quiller, the Board terminated a teacher for inappropriate communications with students, which included allegations from students that the teacher used profanity, racial epithets and other derogatory terms. That matter was appealed by the employee, and an ALJ officer determined that even though there was sufficient evidence to support the inappropriate statements, that the employee conduct was not immoral and that no willful neglect of duty existed. As a result, it was determined that sufficient reason existed to sanction the employee, but that the behavior was not “severe” as contemplated in the progressive discipline policy. The Board refused to accept the ALJ’s recommendation and entered an Order terminating Ms. Quiller. The teacher appealed the Order and the Court of Appeals reversed the Board’s Final Order or Dismissal and ordered that the Board reinstate the employee to active duty. The Board ultimately entered into a Settlement with the employee for $125,000, paying her back wages and other related costs in consideration for her voluntary resignation from the district.
Despite the specific ruling in Quiller, and based on revised language to the CBA, the Board approved skipping two steps in Progressive Discipline and suspending Mr. Swinyar without pay. Following the employee’s suspension without pay, he will be reassigned to an appropriate district position with no contact with students for the remainder of the year. As an annual contract employee, Mr. Swinyar’s employment contract with the district expires June 30, 2018. In May, recommendations for contract renewals for all annual employees will be considered.
5. Another Florida Teacher Lost Her Job Last Week for Hosting a White Nationalist Podcast
This is the second incident in just a week where a teacher in the sunshine state was under fire involving racist antics.
A 25-year-old middle school social studies teacher in Florida was secretly hosting a white nationalist podcast, as well as expressing right wing extremist views, including racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim thoughts, on Twitter, in video interviews and in columns.
Dayanna Volitich, who works at Crystal River Middle School in Citrus County, Florida, has used the name Tiana Dalichov online for several years, Huffington Post reported. She has also used it as her pen name for young adult novels she has written.
Read more about Volitich below: