Collins was suspended at the end of January after he used profanity with two students to try to get them to stop picking on others in his class. He has received formal charging papers outlining a number of alleged misdeeds and has requested a public hearing on the matter.
To give the teacher's supporters an idea of what to expect at the public hearing, both from personal experience and from years of covering similar situations in area schools- these are things that will likely happen:
-The board will sit in stony silence at the hearing as one speaker after another speaks in favor of the teacher. Some board members will act as if they are doing the public a big favor just to have the meeting and that they really have better use for their time.
-The board president most likely will say he or she and the other board members cannot comment on anything because it is a personnel situation and all personnel situations must be handled in closed session. (That, by the way, is not true. Missouri's Open Meetings Law does not mandate a closed session for personnel matters; it simply says a board may go into closed session to discuss the hiring, firing, promoting, or discipline of personnel.)
-Everyone will go home unsatisfied with the experience.
- Except for the opportunity to let off a little steam and show dissatisfaction with the board's decision, nothing will be accomplished.
I have seen a few occasions on which board decisions were reversed, but usually these hearings are an exercise in futility with board members simply going through the motions because they are required to do so by law.