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Students Hope to Bring Suspended Joplin Teacher Back - KOAM TV 7

Students Hope to Bring Suspended Joplin Teacher Back

Students Hope to Bring Suspended Joplin Teacher Back

Updated: April 22, 2013 05:13 PM
Courtesy of Randy Turner, Facebook Courtesy of Randy Turner, Facebook

A tenured Joplin Area School teacher is placed on administrative leave...and students are asking why.

Randy Turner, an 8th grade Communications teacher at the Joplin Middle School was placed on administrative leave on April 8th. The students in his class have had a substitute since, and they say learning is not the same. A bond between a teacher and a student can make a huge impact on a child's willingness to learn.

One of Turner's students, Clarissa Scalia broke down in tears while thinking of her favorite memories of Turner's class."He was the only one that would actually help me and everyone else thought I wouldn't be good at it, but he was the only one that would believe in me." she said in relation to her Quizbowl experience.

Up until recently, Turner has been making an impact on Joplin 8th grade students, until he was recently placed on administrative leave, which has parents now wondering why.  

 Mackenzie Robinson's daughter, Taylor is currently a student in Turner's class. She said she was shocked when she found out the news that he was no longer in the classroom. "He has been nothing but an excellent teacher, he keeps an open line of communication between parents and I know my daughter as well as several other students just absolutely love him. I haven't heard one student say a single solitary thing about him, or a parent for that matter." she said.

Turner is a well known social media advocate, with his own blog and many books published and available for purchase.

A statement released from Joplin Superintendent Dr. C.J. Huff says:

"A complaint was received by the Joplin Schools on April 4th. An investigation by the Joplin Schools administration began within 24 hours of receipt of that complaint. A 28-page Statement of Charges was delivered to and received by Mr. Turner on Thursday, April 18, 2013 as a result of that investigation. As this is a personnel matter, the District will not disclose the details of the Statement of Charges."

But his classmates aren't standing for it. Robinson's daughter, Taylor along with her classmates including Scalia, Madison Riddle, and Alexandra Steltz have created a Facebook page called Project Turner, in honor of their favorite teacher, and in hopes of drawing attention to bringing him back into the classroom.

"We just keep updates on what we're doing and we're trying to save him, and help him get his job back." Robinson said.

As our story aired, the page had just over 130 likes...Currently it has over 300.

Turner says he plans to address the media after he speaks with his attorney and the Missouri National Education Association Representative.

For more information on Project Turner, their page can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/TurnerProject

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