CLASS CONTINUES FOR STUDENTS OF SUSPENDED TEACHER
By Brian Cronin
Class resume as scheduled for the students in Victor Thomas’ Student Success classes. The mood in the classroom was upbeat but the students were worried about how their assignments were going to be graded.
Alva Vazquez, a student from Thomas’ 8:00 a.m. Friday class on the Osceola campus, said, “The school did what it had to do for the safety of the students and faculty,” referring to the suspension of Thomas after it became public that he once served a six year prison sentence for drug trafficking and transporting counterfeit goods.
It is unclear at this time what Thomas has done wrong recently, if anything. Thomas has been unavailable for comment. As of now, the story remains that Thomas was arrested and convicted for a felony offense before he was employed by the college and although he clearly marked this on his application, Valencia placed him on administrative leave stating that the background check turned up no hits on Thomas’ conviction.
The students of the Friday class are all in agreement that Thomas was a good teacher and they are disappointed that Thomas will not be finishing up the semester.
A student who elected to remain unnamed said, “Thomas expected honesty and integrity from his students and if he was honest enough to put his conviction on his application the college should let him stay.”
At this point Thomas’ classes will be taught by a substitute for the rest of the semester. Students say that they are frustrated because the actions that led to the suspension of their teacher were in no way related to any wrongdoing to his peers, students, and faculty, or toward the college on the part of Thomas.
At the moment, Valencia has no policy in terms of hiring convicted individuals who have had their civil rights re-established but sources at the college has said that that may soon change perhaps due to the recent media attention placed upon their hiring practices.
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