View: RUSD documents
RIALTO -- After a teacher in August was recorded yelling, berating and insulting his third-grade students, Rialto Unified took him out of his classroom - and stuck him in another one, district documents show.
Henry Elementary School teacher Tim Braby has been transferred to Frisbie Middle School, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The district was blunt in a Feb. 26 letter hand-delivered to Braby: "Your conduct as a certificated employee of the Rialto Unified School District has been unprofessional," wrote Associate Superintendent of Personnel Services Felix J. Avila.
Braby was given 45 days to "correct the various deficiencies" listed in the letter or face disciplinary action, "up to and including dismissal."
Braby's behavior came to light after the grandmother of one of his students slipped a digital recorder into her grandson's backpack on Aug.31, 2012.
The district's 15-page letter goes into great detail about that behavior:
"You managed your third-grade classroom in a highly unsatisfactory manner and engaged in unprofessional conduct over the course of the instructional day by intimidating and reprimanding your students in an unwarranted fashion on numerous occasions. Specifically, you spoke to and interacted with your students in an aggressive, demeaning and threatening manner during the entire period of time you were present in your classroom, at times loudly raising your voice and yelling at your students."
Four pages of audio transcripts of the secretly made recording follow the letter and detail Braby's classroom conduct toward students on Aug. 31.
The letter directs Braby not to use "demeaning, threatening or derogatory language" toward his students, including "insinuations that your students lack the intellectual capacity to complete or understand assignments and/or lessons." He is not to yell, scream or shout at students, except in cases like getting their attention on a playground.
He was also required to create a classroom management strategy, seek out assistance from peers and participate in "any relevant skills-building seminars and programs offered by the district, or other similar training as directed by site or district administrators."
"If the deficiencies described in this letter are not corrected," the letter concludes, "the Board of Education may institute disciplinary action against you, up to and including dismissal."
The family of the student with the digital recorder had made repeated attempts to get the boy transferred out of the class but failed. When the boy's mother, Charliena Marquez, first made the request, she was one of three parents complaining to Principal Sylvia Braggs that day, but to no avail. A complaint at the district office likewise yielded no results. But when Marquez returned to Braggs with the recording of Braby in the classroom, her son was transferred that day.
The family later turned the recording over to The Sun, which ran a story, including a four-minute audio excerpt on its website, on Jan. 12. Nine days later, Braby was removed from his classroom.
Documents released by the district in March show he moved less than two miles, landing in a Frisbie Middle School classroom.
School board President Joe Ayala said the board is mostly kept in the dark about individual personnel cases.
"As we speak right now, there's probably something being debated between a parent and a school official," Ayala said. "Sometimes things are overlooked or sometimes things are underrated, or there are people who want a different course of action. Unless you're right there, hands on, you don't know the situation."
Others acknowledged the nature of Braby's words, but weighed that against a lack of a history of similar instances.
"Although his comments were extremely inappropriate, and shocking, but that alone, with no documentation of prior situations, would not be enough to dismiss him," school board member Nancy O'Kelley said. "So maybe they thought, put him with some older kids and see how he'd work out with them."
Three Henry Elementary parents said they complained to Braggs about Braby's classroom conduct.
Rialto Unified spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said the district has no records of any action taken by Braggs following the complaints made that day against Braby.
"When I was a principal, I took complaints very seriously, but it's very hard for me to speculate about what another principal did or would have done," O'Kelley said.
Braby could not be reached for comment for this report.