Evers could have stood with WI families, sided with teachers acting immorally
August 24, 2018
[Madison, WI] — Tony Evers’ campaign turned one year old yesterday – meaning that he’s spent a full 365 days dodging accountability for his role in letting teachers who put students in danger stay in the classroom. From siding with teachers who were spreading pornography and making inappropriate comments about the bodies of middle school girls, to a teacher snapchatting a student sexual content, Tony Evers has repeatedly sided with teachers acting immorally over students, their families, and schools.
“Tony Evers must be held accountable for his record of failing to protect children in our classrooms,” said Alec Zimmerman, spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. “Even one child left in the presence of a predator is too many, and Evers has repeatedly ignored both overwhelming evidence and the will of victims and school districts, and instead sides with the unions.”
EXCUSE #1: Tony Evers didn’t have authority to revoke the license!
REALITY: Tony Evers had the power to revoke the Middleton teacher’s license for immoral conduct:
- A recent op-ed by Wisconsin Institute for Law & Libertyhead Rick Esenberg details how Evers could have acted. Evers had the necessary authority to initiate license revocation procedures against the teacher, and simply decided not to.
- Governor Walker also called on Evers to act back in 2014, sending him a letter that detailed just how he could revoke the license. Evers declined to act.
- On top of already having the authority, Evers’ excuse ignores his own previous actions. As Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Evers revoked the license of a teacher in a similar situation – that was before he was an elected official who needed union boss help.
EXCUSE #2: The students weren’t in danger – it was just risqué photos!
REALITY: A school district investigation uncovered that the Middleton teacher went way further than just pictures:
- The district’s investigation uncovered that the teacher was actively spreading pornography at school.
- The same investigation found that teacher harassed his colleagues, and made sexually explicit and inappropriate comments about middle school girls.
EXCUSE #3: Tony Evers led the way on changing the law so this could never happen again!
REALITY: The lawmaker who championed the bill that fixed the “loophole” Evers used says Evers and DPI weren’t all that involved:
- In fact, here’s what he said: “I don’t remember DPI being particularly helpful or even very involved in the process. It certainly wasn’t a case where DPI was ‘pushing’ for the law to be changed” and also “The best I could say is that they didn’t oppose the legislation.”
- Even after the law changed, Evers still failed to act. As the new WISGOP TV ad points out, Evers continued his inaction even after he received reinforced authority – failing to act on cases where a teacher was caught with his pants “fully undone” in the classroom and in another case where a teacher used snapchat to ask a student to have sex.
EXCUSE #4: There wasn’t enough evidence to believe the victims!
REALITY: Multiple students, teachers, and administrators gave testimony to school districts – and in some cases the police – detailing the behavior of these teachers acting immorally.
- In Beloit, a student told the school district and police about how a teacher sent him sexually explicit snapchats asking to have sex in a storage closet. Multiple corroborating witnesses backed up the claims of the student, saying that they saw the “flirty” messages from the teacher.
- In Bloomer, a teacher told the school district that she caught a substitute in the classroom with his pants “fully undone.” Special education students told the school district that the substitute asked them to look up pornography on their phones.
- In the face of overwhelming evidence, Evers still decided not to revoke either license.