Florida Teacher Accused Of Calling Students Raising Livestock ‘Murderers’

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

A school superintendent has recommended a teacher be fired for calling students who raise livestock “murderers.”

Heidi Maier, Superintendent of Marion County Schools in Florida, recommended Horizon Academy at Marion Oaks middle school teacher Thomas Roger Allison Jr. for termination after an investigation March 28. Maier claims the teacher bullied and intimidated Future Farmers of America (FFA) students, according to Ocala.

“[Allison] has engaged in a repeated, egregious pattern of mistreating, ridiculing, insulting, intimidating, embarrassing, bullying and abusing FFA students, crushing their dreams and causing them to feel that they must discontinue FFA activities in order to enjoy a peaceful school environment,” Maier wrote in a written recommendation to fire the teacher.

Donna Lavery, an agriculture teacher at Horizon, “reported that FFA students have come to her crying, stating that (Allison) has called them murderers,” according to the investigation report.

The superintendent alleged that the teacher harassed an FFA teacher adviser and suggested his honors science students do the same to FFA members.

“When the animals’ throats are being slit, they are calling out your names, asking why you are not coming to save them,” said Allison, according to Maier’s recommendation.

But Allison contested the superintendent’s allegations.

“I deny these allegations,” the teacher said. “I love working in Marion County and love my students. I will fight for my job.”

“Bullying behavior is not tolerated in Marion County Public Schools,” said Kevin Christian, Public Relations Officer for Marion County Public Schools. “By students, by adults, by employees. When students misbehave, they are disciplined. When teachers bully students, that’s a problem.”

Christian noted that Allison’s effectiveness as a teacher is not under scrutiny but rather his motivation to demean students who disagree with his personal decisions. Allison was nominated for the 2016 Golden Apple Teaching Award and has emerged as one of five finalists, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The public relations officer noted that Allison is on unpaid leave pending a hearing before the Marion County School Board.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to Allison for comment but received none in time for publication.

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