The beloved science teacher at a public high school in Los Angeles who was suspended because a school employee was afraid that a couple science projects looked too much like terrifying weapons has been reinstated, reports the Los Angeles Times.
It only took about two months, which is barely a millisecond in time as measured amid the red tape of big-city public schools.
Back in February, the teacher, Greg Schiller, was suspended (with pay) from his job at at the brutally futuristic-looking $232 million Cortines School of Visual & Performing Arts (also called Grand Arts High School).
His crime was overseeing two projects designed to shoot little projectiles. One of the projects used compressed air (but was not actually connected to any air). The other one was coil gun: A tube surrounded by a coil and powered by a standard AA battery.
Neither project was anything groundbreaking. As the Times notes, both are ordinary fare at science fairs around the country.
Nevertheless, an unidentified school employee saw at least one of the devices and got scared because, to her, it looked like a fearsome weapon. (RELATED: MORON: School employee feared kid’s science project resembled weapon, so star teacher suspended)
At a White House Science Fair in February 2012, President Barack Obama shot a marshmallow across the State Dining Room with the help of a pressurized air gun invented by 14-year-old Joey Hudy. It was more powerful than either device created by Schiller’s students. Hudy’s impressive “Extreme Marshmallow Cannon” can launch marshmallows up to 175 feet—over half a football field.
Obama was able to continue his presidential duties after the White House air-pressure gun incident.
Schiller was treated very differently. Officials with the Los Angeles Unified School District had told Schiller he was suspended for “supervising the building, research and development of imitation weapons.”
Schiller, 43, received word that he would be allowed back into the classroom on Friday.
“I am very excited to be back with my students and help them prepare for the Advanced Placement tests, which are a week away,” Schiller told the Times. “We have a lot of work ahead of ourselves.”
However, his ordeal is only partlially over. School district officials refused to say that the science teacher is fully vindicated. He could still face some kind of punishment.
Schiller, who volunteered to help with the science fair that landed him in trouble, teaches several courses including Advanced Placement Biology and Advanced Placement Psychology.
During his suspension, his jilted and disappointed students had substitute teachers who offered very little in the way of instruction.
“The class is now essentially a free period,” AP psychology student Liana Kleinman explained to the Times. “The sub does not have a psych background and can’t help us with the work.”