EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Parents and community members showed up to express outrage and concern to the East Lansing Public School’s Board of Education.
Middle school gym teacher Dennis Petrowitz has been placed on a five-day suspension, accused of saying something unprofessional to a student on Sept. 20. This incident comes just four months about Petrowitz admitted using the “N” word during class.
“It was overwhelming with a resounding voice that I hope you all hear – that they would like him fired,” one parent told the Board. “That is not coming from any parent; that came from the children.”
Another parent weighed in.
“Please, let’s do something to protect the children. They have been traumatized a number of times over the last couple of years and this is just one more,” she said.
The two women were not alone.
“The issue that has brought a majority of the people out today is not the problem,” said one man, “it’s the system of the problem. The problem is what is the culture within the building that has fostered an environment where a teacher can operate without impunity and damage students repeatedly. That is the issue.”
Members of the Board of Education, who were meeting to discuss appointing a new member of the body, said they heard the parents – and agreed. But, removing a teacher takes time.
Board Member Kath Edsall said, “And allowing the process to what it’s going to do, so that we can keep him out from being in front of children. It may not be in the moment answer people want, but I think it’s going to get us the end result that we want.”
6 News reached out to Petrowitz, but has not heard back from him.