Bedford HS teacher fights school board over accusations he made - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bedford HS teacher fights school board over accusations he made students uncomfortable

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Dennis Martin speaks with some of his current and former students during a recess in the board meeting Sept. 10, 2015. Dennis Martin speaks with some of his current and former students during a recess in the board meeting Sept. 10, 2015.

BEDFORD, Ind. (WDRB) – A teacher in Bedford, Indiana wants his job back after at least one student says he made them uncomfortable.

At a board meeting Thursday night, a crowd got heated in support of the teacher – Dennis Martin.

Dozens in the crowd grilled the school board and superintendent in support of Martin, who’s been a teacher at North Bedford Lawrence for 22 years. An emotional Martin made his case after a standing ovation from the crowd.

“Every morning when I wake up, my goal is to make those 48 minutes with my students the best 48 minutes of my day,” Martin said.

The school board says in late August, at least one student in one of Martin’s classes came forward saying they felt uncomfortable after Miller touched or massaged their shoulder. Several other allegations include Martin telling a student she looked nice and using a heart emoji when communicating with students.

“We were raised to be loving people,” Martin’s sister Rhonda said. “We're huggers, we're patters and if that offends people I'm sorry.”

Martin says he was brought in for a meeting in which superintendent Gary Connor gave him three options; resign, go on administrative leave or be fired.

Martin resigned on Aug. 31. Thursday night he asked the board to reject his own resignation.

“I'm asking you, please, reject my resignation to allow me to go back to my classroom,” Martin said.

Many in the audience say giving Martin those three options without an investigation was not fair. The school board and superintendent say they won't comment on personnel matters.

“I apologize if I've ever done anything to embarrass the school board or the administration,” Martin said.

After two and half hours, the board decided to reject Martin’s resignation and instead have placed him on administrative leave while an investigation is completed.

That investigation will be done by a third party not affiliated with the school system and no timetable was given on when that might be completed.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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