BANGOR, Mich. – Bangor Public Schools officials took action Monday against several employees caught on video at a local bar in a lewd conversation about students and school staff.
The roughly six-minute video, posted to YouTube on Monday, shows several BPS employees and teachers playing the game MFK – “marry, f***, kill” – about who they would wed, or kill, or have sex with. The loud discussion allegedly occurred at Bangor Tavern Bar and Grill on Jan. 13, as a patron from several tables away recorded the footage, WZZM reports.
The teachers discussed several students in detail, including some with special needs, prompting parents to flood a school board meeting Monday night to demand answers. Board members said the district investigated the video weeks ago, and initially refused to take questions on the matter, according to WOOD.
School district attorney Robert Huber, after a closed door session with the board, outlined how the school district took action against those involved. Patti Waite, secretary to the superintendent, resigned on Monday morning, while administrators issued written reprimands to two teachers and verbally reprimanded four others, Huber told parents.
“I’m angry. I’m livid. Disgusted,” parent Amanda Reprogal told WOOD.
Teachers discussed Reprogal’s special needs son in the video, and she thinks the teachers “got to go.”
Numerous others also called for district officials to terminate the educators in the video.
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Other than Waite, the district has not named the school employees involved.
Huber was combative when confronted by parents about the punishment, and alleged students were not identified in the video, contrary to the obvious evidence.
“You can’t point anywhere on that video where the teachers were talking about students,” he said. “We made our best assessment based on the facts and reasonable minds can differ about things.”
Jennifer Prentice told WOOD she posted the video to YouTube after she got it from a friend, and it didn’t take long before people in the small town recognized who the teachers were talking about.
“It’s disturbing to know that these are our educators,” she told WXMI. “They are in charge of protecting our children, keeping our children safe, and the fact that they just blew that out of the water shows their character and shows that maybe they’re not right for this job.”
Other parents echoed Prentice’s concerns.
“You teach your kids to respect authority, and then how do you respect authority figures when they behave like that?” said Ronnie Booker, father of Reprogal’s son.
“It was heartbreaking,” Reprogal said. “My heart sank, and I was disgusted.”
Bangor Police Chief Tommy Simpson told WZZM he reviewed the video and did not find any criminal activity.
“There was a staff member who filed a complaint because she felt threatened by the video,” he said.
Huber advised parents against pursuing criminal charges at the board meeting, where some parents called for a recall of the entire school board, WOOD reports.
Huber told WXMI the two teachers who were “suspended” are now on a probationary period and promised school officials will keep a close eye on them.
“We’re going to be following up and monitoring how these teachers do,” he said. “I think they’ve learned their lesson from all this.”