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Troubled Florida teacher suspended two days for falling asleep in class

May 24, 2013 by

WESTON, Fla. – A science teacher at Cypress Bay High School received a rude awakening Tuesday when he was given a two day suspension for falling asleep in class.

Patrick Geller, 42, fell asleep at his desk for several minutes last month while he was supposed to be teaching, reports the Orlando Sentinel. Students who witnessed the incident took photos, which circulated around the school and ended up in the hands of administrators.

Geller blamed his ill-timed nap on having to take care of a “sleepless baby” the night before, but his excuses fell on deaf ears. At a meeting Tuesday, the Broward County School Board said Geller failed to supervise his students and disrupted learning in his classroom, according to the news site. Geller was charged with misconduct in office and incompetence and was given a two-day unpaid suspension.

“People make mistakes but it’s a safety issue,” Gracie Diaz, the district’s chief human resource office, told the news site. “There’s more intense pressure on educators.”

While some parents were sympathetic, others called Geller’s actions unacceptable.

“If that excuse can be used by one, it can be used by everyone,” said Weston parent Lance Shetrompf. He believes Geller set “a horrible example by not taking personal responsibility.”

Unfortunately for Geller, his classroom snooze was not his first infraction. School officials met with him several times this year after receiving complaints that Geller played games on his cell phone in class, behaved inappropriately and had problems with attendance, according to the news site. He was given a verbal reprimand for not teaching through an entire class period.

Geller has been an employee of the district since 2002, according to the news report. He may challenge his suspension by requesting a hearing before an administrative judge.

Troubled Florida teacher suspended two days for falling asleep in class – :: Education Research, Reporting, Analysis and Commentary.

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