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Why are we paying teacher accused of secretly videotaping students?

Dori is furious that a teacher was placed on paid administrative leave and given $17,000 to resign after hidden cameras were found under desks of students in his classroom. (AP Photo/file)

Editor’s Note: A Selah Junior High School teacher was paid $17,000 not to challenge his termination after a small video camera was found under a ninth-grade girl’s desk.

David G. McMillen was arraigned Tuesday in Yakima on voyeurism charges, according to the Associated Press. He remains free while awaiting trial. He has denied owning or installing the camera.

Taken from Wednesday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

I’m almost reluctant to share this story because I am so genuinely furious about reporting this news about the teacher in our state named Dave McMillen.

McMillen is 52 years old, an 18-year veteran teacher in Selah, at the junior high school, and apparently a fan of cameras. Multiple hidden cameras were discovered in Mr. McMillen’s classroom.

Chris Scacco, Assistant Superintendent for the Selah School District, described how the cameras were found.

“We had a student that had discovered a camera under her desk. The teacher, Mr. McMillen, took the camera from her and then at the end of the day, the building administration was notified that that had happened in the classroom by other students.”

After the school district was alerted, they confiscated Mr. McMillen’s school computer and the classroom was searched. The classroom search turned up even more cameras.

“There was a camera hidden inside a clock. There was a camera hidden inside an outlet. They were in inconspicuous, hidden places so you couldn’t easily see them,” says Scacco.

So after all these cameras were discovered, what happened to Mr. McMillen?

“He was promptly placed on paid administrative leave so that we could conduct an investigation with the Selah Police Department,” says Scacco.

Oh, he got a vacation. He got a long vacation. That’s good because I’m sure assembling all those cameras – if he did that, he’s been accused of it – I’m sure that that’s hard work and you would need a paid administrative leave for that.

The cameras were found in October of 2011, so it was a long vacation that he got. And the assistant superintendent says they were all just shocked when they found out about this.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened,” says Scacco. “Obviously, student safety is our utmost priority for the school district, so we were very surprised that it happened, but we felt that the action taken by the administration and the district was appropriate.”

No. Student safety is not of utmost importance. You do not allow a teacher who is accused of being a perv to resign and not have the black mark of a firing on his record. You’re not part of a system who pays somebody $17,000 to resign when they are caught with video cameras all over their classrooms looking up the skirts of ninth-grade girls.

Student safety is not of utmost importance in the system that we have. The system that we have is to enrich the unions, to enrich the administration, it’s not about student safety.

By the way, I know individuals within the system. I work in the public schools. My wife works in the public schools. I know individuals who care passionately about student safety, but don’t tell me that the system is about this when you give this guy a $17,000 golden handshake when he worked so hard to allegedly conceal these cameras.

So why did they give him the $17,000?

“That was through negotiation with our legal counsel and his legal counsel,” says Scacco. “They came up with the settlement. He said that he would resign if he could have that settlement. That is not something that we came up with. They actually offered that.”

Oh that was a nice offer.

So paid administrative leave and a $17,000 goodbye. Of course he deserves all that. I talk about ‘bizarro world’ all the time, but I don’t know that there is a more bizarre example of how fundamentally broken the school system is when this guy gets $17,000 to walk away after a lengthy paid administrative leave.

It’s a perverted system when something like this can happen.

Taken from Wednesday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.


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