An online petition is demanding the firing of Tampa teacher Todd Harvey, who has faced over 20 complaints in 25 years, including alleged racist and homophobic remarks and behavior.
The Change.org petition accuses Harvey of being a "homophobic, racist, misogynistic" person, and calls for his immediate termination. The petition has gathered about 350 signatures, and also calls for a thorough investigation by school officials and law enforcement.
District records show at least 23 complaints of alleged misconduct since Harvey began teaching in 1997.
He’s been suspended without pay for making racially insensitive comments, and reprimanded for allowing students to pay him to boost their grades.
Harvey allegedly mocked Latino students, and refused to call a German exchange student anything but "Germany."
He admitted to performing a Nazi salute in class, but claimed it was part of a Holocaust lesson.
In addition, he allegedly called one girl “slutty,” and told another he’d marry her when she turned 21. He later said the “slutty” comment was a joke that he regretted.
He was also accused of saying that gay couples should be forbidden from marrying in church, and that women belonged at home and not the workplace.
He also allegedly said that girls with “thunder thighs” shouldn’t wear shorts, singling out certain students.
A principal once conceded that “everyone” knew Harvey got a pitcher on the baseball team to deliberately hit an opposing player in the head. Harvey denied it.
The last record of a complaint was in February 2017, when he was reprimanded for “unprofessional conduct” for helping kids cheat on a test. Their scores were invalidated.
Melanie Copeland, a biracial former student, accused Harvey of calling her a "mutt" in class.
Some students accuse Harvey of bullying a transgender student who died by suicide, alleging he contributed to the student's mental health issues. Police say the student had been upset by a debate with Harvey that day. A friend told the TBT that Harvey said the student looked like a psychopath and a school shooter.
Source: Tampa Bay Times