he was my english teacher from freshman year, probably one of the coolest, most laid back teachers ive ever had. he constantly talked about drinking and smoking weed, but never hooking up with 14 year old girls. which is strange because he once told us that he refuses to ever have a teenaged girl in his car. first day of school last year he was taken out of school in custody, but no one knew why. well, heres the answer.
Panel set to fire teacher after state report
END BYLINE PUB DATE First published: Thursday, August 7, 2008 END PUB DATE END BYLINE and PUB DATE Insert a review line if needed End Insert a review line if needed CORRECTIONTEXT, LEAD AND REMAINING TEXT SARATOGA SPRINGS -- An English teacher at Saratoga Springs High School will be fired for an improper relationship with a 14-year-old female student, following the recommendation of a state Education Department hearing officer.
Mark Oppenneer, 37, who lives in Wilton with his wife, engaged in misconduct with the girl during the 2006-07 school year and the following summer, hearing officer Dennis J. Campagna said.
Schools Superintendent Janice White said the school board will fire Oppenneer at its next meeting on Aug. 12.
"We are grateful that the due process procedures resulted in a termination," White said. "The Board of Education was adamant that the misconduct of Mr. Oppenneer could not be tolerated. We always seek to ensure a safe and secure environment for all of our students."
The relationship came to light when the girl's mother read some of the messages and called State Police. The misconduct was not physical and no criminal charges were filed, but district officials placed Oppenneer on paid suspension on Sept. 5, 2007.
The report, which did not indicate whether Oppenneer will lose his teaching license, cited several messages from Oppenneer that signaled he knew he was playing with fire.
In one sent after meeting her in person, he said he would not feel comfortable allowing a "14-year-old daughter to walk around downtown without major worry (especially with strange 36-year-old men lurking in coffee shops.)"
In another online communication, Oppenneer told the girl his wife was "very disturbed" after she saw the messages between them.
Oppenneer also wrote to the girl that he considered sending her a message with a photo of a box of condoms, but reconsidered when, "I heard the voice of the Judge: 'Mr. Oppenneer, is it true that you sent a young girl a picture of a box of condoms?'."
Another time he messaged: "You know I write things to you now pretty constantly that I think I probably shouldn't."
All told last June, July and August, the report found, nearly 100 of Oppenneer's 144 messages were sent between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m.