Governor Scott Walker is offering more details about what prompted a letter to state education officials this week, asking them to revoke the license of a teacher who viewed porn on the job.
Science teacher Andrew Harris was recently restored to his job in the Middleton-Cross Plains School District, after his firing for viewing sexually explicit material on a school computer was overturned. The decision has prompted outrage from many in the community, and Governor Scott Walker on Tuesday sent a letter to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers asking him to begin the process of revoking Harris’ teaching license.
Walker says the decision to get involved came after reading newspaper articles about the controversy, although his office also heard from many concerned parents. One of those parents is also an aide to the governor, Deputy Press Secretary Julie Lund, who has a child in the district and posted about the controversy on her personal Facebook page. Walker on Wednesday said his aide did not ask him to send the letter, and only “vented her frustration as a parent,” much like many others have done since Harris was given his job back.
In his letter, Walker argues the state has the power to revoke Harris’ teaching license because of “immoral conduct on the job.” Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he also noted that the arbitration that gave Harris his job back is something districts should not have to deal with in the future, under his signature law the ended collective bargaining for most public employee unions. Walker said “this case shows precisely why school boards should be the ones making this decision, and not arbiters or union bosses.”
The Department of Public Instruction is currently investigating the status of Harris’ teaching license.