OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma City Public Schools Special Education teacher was fired after allegedly pushing a student’s head to the ground for nearly three minutes.
The OKCPS Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday night to terminate special education teacher, Stephen Gainor, for allegedly holding a student down by their head during class at Webster Middle School.
Documents show on February 16th, an assistant principal brought the student into Mr. Gainor’s classroom. The student was allegedly upset about not getting to do math problems on a white board. The child started, “kicking loose floor tiles, attempting to break them further.”
Investigators said Gainor called the student’s parents saying he “was throwing furniture.” The assistant principal, who was there, said that wasn’t true.
The student then allegedly got upset and started kicking desks. That’s when “Mr. Gainor used his right hand to hold down [the student’s] left hip bone and his left hand on [the student’s] head on the ground.”
Documents show the assistant principal told him to stop multiple times, to which Gainor alllegedly said “it was fine.”
Documents said several administrators saw the three-minute ordeal.
While he was on administrative leave, documents show Gainor told investigators he “laid him on the floor and placed him on his side,” because the student, “threw and struck him with a chair.” The assistant principal again told investigators that wasn’t true.
During the investigation, the district found Gainor was also mishandling student records, including student’s special learning plans.
At the end of April, OKCPS Superintendent, Dr. Sean McDaniel, and the middle school’s principal sent a memo to the board recommending Gainor’s termination.
The district told News 4 Gainor did not attend, nor had legal representation at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Oklahoma Public Schools provided News 4 with the following statement:
“In a letter dated April 27, 2023, the OKCPS Superintendent issued a recommendation for termination to the Board of Education, following an investigation of an incident that occurred on February 16, 2023 involving a probationary teacher at Webster Middle School. As is routine in these situations, this teacher had been placed on Administrative Leave pending the result of our investigation.
Yesterday, the OKCPS Board of Education conducted a due process hearing in which OKCPS board members voted unanimously to move forward with termination of the probationary teacher.
As always, OKCPS works to ensure state law and board policies are followed, and if violations are found, they are quickly addressed. It is paramount that OKCPS provides our students a safe learning environment. Because this is a personnel issue, we cannot comment further.”
News 4 emailed Stephen Gainor, but did not hear back.
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