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Damage 'on-going' for family of Shadd student impregnated by teacher

The mother of the special education student who became pregnant by her teacher at Shadd Transition Academy last year charges that even though the relationship was widely known or suspected by school staff, no one shared any concerns with her.

Karen Blue said through her attorney that school officials kept her apprised of other matters regarding the progress of her daughter, Ayanna, now 20 and a senior at the Southeast D.C. school.

"Yet never once during this period was Ms. Blue informed of any rumors or concerns that her emotionally disabled daughter was engaged in a sexual relationship with a teacher three times her age," attorney Kathleen Behan said in a Sept. 23 letter to Andrew Richardson, director of the Office of Risk Management, the District agency where notice of potential legal claims are filed.

Ayanna Blue, who has her own attorney, sued DCPS in U.S. District Court earlier this month, after paternity tests showed a better than 99 percent probability that Robert Weismiller, 58, is the father of her daughter, born Nov. 28, 2009. Weismiller was suspended by DCPS in May 2009 when the pregnancy came to light and was laid off the following October as part of what officials described as a budget-driven reduction in force.

Weismiller did not return a cell phone message Tuesday.

Behan said DCPS was negligent on several fronts, including the "reckless opening" of Shadd in the fall of 2008, when it was plagued by inadequate staffing and dangerous student behavior. Desperate for teachers, Behan said, Weismiller was hired.

Citing investigative reports, Behan wrote: "Virtually every witness interviewed by the DCPS stated that they had either seen Ayanna Blue and Mr. Weismiller alone together in his classroom or had heard rumors and suspected that the two were having a sexual relationship," Behan wrote.

When Karen Blue did learn of the pregnancy, it was a telephone call from Shadd principal Alonzo Randall, Behan said.

"Since the birth of the child, at which Ms. Blue was present, Ms. Blue has provided and continues to provide emotional and other support to Ayanna Blue," Behan wrote. "Her joy of having a grandchild has been overshadowed by the irreparable harm to her daughter and her family. Ms. Blue has limited resources and has suffered extreme stress as a result. These harms will continue indefinitely."

DCPS general counsel James Sandman said Tuesday he had no comment.

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By Bill Turque  | September 28, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
 
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Comments

How many scandals will be dogging Rhee as she heads out of town?

This one, something funny at OSSE with the sudden resignations, special ed and head start funding issues. What am I leaving out?

Posted by: efavorite | September 28, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

If any school official knew of this crime and tried to cover it up, that person should go to jail.

Posted by: Linda/RetiredTeacher | September 28, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why the scandal should dog Rhee. She said plain as day when she fired that wave of teachers that this sort of thing was going on and the union contract wouldn't even allow her to fire the teacher.

Ms. Rhee said in the February issue of the Fast Company business magazine: "I got rid of teachers who had hit children, who had had sex with children, who had missed 78 days of school. Why wouldn't we take those things into consideration?"

You'll notice the article said he was suspended and then only laid off with the rest instead of fired for cause. Everyone called her a liar who was bismirching the teachers union for political reasons, now we get the details...

Posted by: Dremit97 | September 28, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

The union does not defend molesters. As soon as it was known that the teacher was having sex with a student, he could have and should have been removed from the school.

Posted by: efavorite | September 28, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Rhee is completely at fault on this one. What kind of special education system is she running that at a special education school many/most staff knew of this sexual relationship but nothing was done?

Doesn't sound like she has turned things around. Maybe the staff didn't speak out for fear which is happening throughout the city under Rhee's watch.

The sex offender should have been fired immediately. Remember it is DCPS and not the union who has complete autonomy on the evaluation system that can lead to terminations.

If for some reason, Rhee could not fire him why didn't she hold a press conference saying that there is a teacher who is having sex with a student but she can't fire him?

At the very least she could have let the City Council know about it. It was only until months after the RIF that she announced it.

What about the other children at that school? I am sure some of them were aware of what was going on. Did they get any kind of crisis counseling? Why weren't their parents notified by DCPS immediately when this was discovered?

Michelle Rhee should have held a meeting with Shadd parents at that time. If this happened at my daughter's school, I would be appalled if I found out about it by the media a year after it happened!

Rhee mishandled the whole situation. After the RIF she then used this one teacher to disparage all other RIFed employees by making it sound like many of them were sex abusers.

This is truly indefensible.

Posted by: letsbereal2 | September 28, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Dremit97

Pull your head out of Rhee butt. Rhee has most local administrators so fearful of being fired they routinely cover up incidents that will bring down her broom.

The principal should be fired but Rhee did lie. Riffing someone under a fake budget crisis is not the same as firing a child molester. But, she supported one child molester, why not another one.

Posted by: guylady201001 | September 28, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

__________________________________________________________
Sexual Misconduct Suit Filed Against D.C. Public School Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Former Teacher……..DC Examiner
______________________________________________________________
According to the report, a former St. HOPE official told investigators that Michelle Rhee - at the time a St. HOPE board member and now Johnson's fiancée and public schools chief in Washington, D.C. -- did "damage control" after learning of sexual misconduct allegations against Johnson.

Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2009/11/20/2338165/kevin-johnsons-accuser-says-he.html#ixzz10X7EgmSQ

Posted by: hello101 | September 28, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

It's so sad this happened I,mbpraying for the Family and the Sped student as for Rea she is getting all this attention and for WHAT after all the lies and firing and to keep hiring. Is so against the law she needs to go and take the Special Ed Director and David Pinder with him go to Newark or somewhere Bye move on already oh David Pinder might be going after all to Jail the Federal Agents were at McKinley looking for. Him on Friday David don't drop he soap

Posted by: Darksecrettt | September 28, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

efavorite...Yes Briggs departure is fishy. Seems Fenty knew home girl was duces back in August. What puzzled me was that the washington post didn't allow folks to comment. If you do a review of the story you will see 0 comments. I know that someone knows what's going on over in OSSE and the cooment section is where folks share info.

Posted by: thelildiva4u | September 28, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

"I don't see why the scandal should dog Rhee. She said plain as day when she fired that wave of teachers that this sort of thing was going on and the union contract wouldn't even allow her to fire the teacher."

The union contract doesnt protect sexual predators. Not only that, but Rhee implied that many of the people she fired were sexual molestors, when only one was. Would you like to be accused of child molestation?

Posted by: educationlover54 | September 28, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

It is obvious that Rhee covered up the child molester case at Shadd. Who is Rhee protecting? Is it the teacher, principal, Assistant Supt. or herself? Rhee was aware that Ayanna was having sex with the teacher in the classroom. What happens in the dark will come to light. I'm very appreciative to Chairman Gray for requesting an investigation/report from Rhee and Cathy Lanier. Rhee lied on 265 educators to cover up Mr. Weismiller's sexual misconduct.

I'm sick of all of the lies and Rhee's reform labatory experiements on the DCPS students, parents and wrongfully terminated employees.

Rhee is a damage controller who covered up another child molester. Guity as Charged!!

Enough is Enough!!
Rhee MUST GO!

Posted by: sheilahgill | September 28, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Fenty hand picked Michelle Rhee... Why???
It is obvious that Rhee covered up the child molester case at Shadd School SY 08-09. Who is Rhee protecting? Is it the teacher, principal, Assistant Supt. or herself? Rhee was aware that Ayanna was having sex with the teacher in the classroom and never reported it to the proper authorities. What happens in the dark will come out in the light. I'm very appreciative to Chairman Vincent Gray for requesting an investigation/report from Rhee and Cathy Lanier February 2010. Rhee lied on 265 educators to save Mr. Weismiller's reputation instead of firing him for raping an Emotional Disturb African American female DCPS student.

I'm sick of all of Rhee's lies and Educaiton Reform labatory experiements on the DCPS students, parents and wrongfully terminated employees.

Rhee is a damage controller who consistently has broken federal laws. Guilty as Charged!! I, too, will pray for Ayanna and her family to be financial compensated for being a victim as well as to have a better productive life .

Enough is Enough!!
Rhee MUST GO!

Posted by: sheilahgill | September 28, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no excuse that this teacher was fired by way of the RIF. This teacher should have been fired due to misconduct. Rhee was negligent. Every student has the right to be protected. What's even worse due to her negligence, is that this teacher has no record of misconduct. He was fired due to the RIF, which means he could possibly get another position in another district and commit the same crime against another child. The parent is right to sue the pants off DCPS and should personally sue Rhee

Posted by: candycane1 | October 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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