Video Clip Leads To Teacher Suspension - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/17/06-Jacksonville

Video Clip Leads To Teacher Suspension

Superintendent Stuart Bird learned about the video clip last Thursday. 

"This man's smart. He just absolutely made a mistake," Bird says.

When he saw it, he and the high school prinicipal agreed Wooton needed to be put on suspension.

"Amazed. Absolutely amazed. Just from a judgement standpoint.  I just would not have thought about that being something he would have done," Bird said.

Today on campus, students painted their cars in to show their support for Wooton.  Senior Josh Wooton said, he was the best teacher he'd ever had.

"He's one of those teachers everyone at our school can learn from, because he makes everything interesting," Nannen said.

Addison Day had Wooton for 4 AP classes. He says Wooton brought his military experience into the classroom, and enriched the learning process. He agrees what happened last Thursday may have been inappropriate.

"Obviously, it was a moment of poor judgement, which I'm sure that we all have. I think that the situation was handled in an inconsistent manner," Day said.

Students created a website to show their support of the Wooton. It claims other teachers have shown similar clips in class, and gone unpunished. They say that's unfair.

"That's part of an ongoing investigation as to possibly other videos and movies have been seen, and we're investigating that. Certainly, we'd take appropriate action should we find that to be true relative to those teachers as well," Bird said.

Today, in silent protest, some students wore t-shirts with "Free Wooton" messages on them. In spite of the student support, the district says, they do not anticipate Wooton will return. 

We spoke with Billy Wooton earlier this afternoon. He told us, "I can't say too much, because I'm not sure what the district is going to do. I will say I appreciate the student support. They're great kids."

Even before the incident, Wooton was not planning to return to Jacksonville High School next year. He submitted his resignation earlier in the semester for unrelated reasons.

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