Students, parents protest Northville teachers' firing

Special needs teachers at Northville High School accused of telling students to intentionally test poorly

NORTHVILLE, Mich. - Jennifer Warnock says she's one of two special education teachers wrongfully taken out of the classroom at Northville High School.

"I feel like it was a forced resignation and I wasn't given very good options," she said. "I'm disappointed. Really liked working for Northville. Liked all of my students. If I could go back I would go back in a heartbeat because I really miss working with all of my students."

It all started last fall when the district launched an investigation after some students in the special education department scored significantly low on the NWEA test, a test taken in the fall and then again in the spring. The teachers were accused of telling students to do bad on the test in the fall but ace the test in the spring to make the teachers look good.

During the investigation, the teachers were put on administrative leave. Meanwhile, students say they were called one-by-one into a meeting with the assistant superintendent of human resources and the assistant principal. The students said they were interrogated and bullied.

"They started asking me questions and flat out called me a liar," said student Joey Roy.

"Multiple times I almost started to cry in the interview. They just didn't believe and kept asking my questions," said student Sullivan Johnson.

Sullivan's mom says she was outraged.

"I would like for the district to be held accountable for the way that they treated the students," she said.

Both teachers ended up resigning but students say the investigation wasn't fair and the allegations are far from the truth.

Parents and students protested Tuesday night outside the school board meeting. Inside the meeting, emotions flared as they voiced their opinions about the situation.

We caught up with superintendent Mary Kay Gallagher.

"Whenever we have any concern about the integrity of our assessment process or whatever may be happening in the district, we exercise due diligence and make sure that we engage in a careful investigation," said Gallagher.

A lot went into the decision. Lots of debate.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.