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Tampa Bay Tribune

Mar 29, 12:00 AM

Decades of complaints about Pinellas teacher surprise School Board members

Pinellas County School Board members offered strong words Monday about a veteran teacher who has sparked constant complaints and demands from parents that their kids be removed from her class. A St. Petersburg Times story detailed how Maria Raysses-Whipple, a Dunedin High English teacher, has been repeatedly scrutinized and admonished since she began teaching in the district 33 years ago. She is now under investigation for undisclosed reasons. "She should have been let go a long time ago," said board member Robin Wikle. If the parent complaints are true, "imagine the learning opportunities that were missed over 30 years. That was my first thought. And we let it go on for 30 years." Again and again, students and parents accused Whipple of botching grades, belittling kids and stonewalling on parent conferences. Fellow educators also accused her of being emotionally abusive, according to a review of her personnel file.

Tags: school districts, teachers unions, teachers

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