Amber Russell's 'I Love Dumb People' Statement Results In Resignation
10:27 AM, Jun 8, 2011
A North Putnam Middle School special education teacher resigned Tuesday after public outrage that stemmed from posts to her Facebook page.Amber Russell posted, "I love dumb people...I call it job security," among other things, which sparked controversy among parents of students at the school.In addition to Russell's Facebook posts, a parent of one of the students said Russell locked her then 13-year-old autistic child in a supply closet.
The North Putnam School district disciplined other school staff members involved in the Facebook and supply closet incidents, according to a statement provided by district officials.Superintendent Mary Sugg Lovejoy issued a statement saying that said a child should never be placed in seclusion, unless the action is discussed and agreed upon."These steps were not taken, and they should have been," Lovejoy wrote in the statement. "This has been a very hurtful situation for parents and a very difficult situation for North Putnam Schools. The actions of a few have cast a shroud of negativity on the many dedicated and exemplary teachers at North Putnam who care deeply about their students."Parents 6News spoke with Tuesday night said they are upset that the school district didn't fire Russell earlier and said the district has not handled the situation appropriately."Well, I'm glad she's out of there, but I do think that they should have fired her so that she wouldn't have the opportunity to do this to anyone else," said parent Leigh Casto, who claimed Russell locked her autistic son, Nathan, in a supply closet.Casto has filed a complaint with the Indiana Department of Education that could result in permanent revocation of Russells teaching license.The district is working to mend its relationship with special needs parents."We will work hard to restore the trust and confidence of our parents and community," wrote Lovejoy. "I apologize to the parents and children who have been hurt by the Facebook comments."I think that this will be a good lesson for Nathan and also other families of disabled children that if you're willing to fight for what's right for your child, that needed changes can be made, Casto said.