A veteran teacher will retire this summer after numerous complaints of professional and sexual misconduct at Riverside Middle School.<
Glen Little, 55, will teach at Riverside High School through the end of the school year. Little was reassigned to the high school in January after having taught at the middle school since 1979. Riverside School District administrators denied that the move was linked to complaints about him.
The retirement caps three years of complaints from students and parents alleging that Little favored girls over boys. Some also said Little’s behavior with students was sexually inappropriate.
He was suspended with pay for several days after two complaints that the state superintendent of public instruction’s office started investigating last Oct. 11.
One complaint alleged that he encouraged three students who had asked for Gummi bears to reach down his shorts for candy last May.
The other claimed that Little referred to a girl’s behind as “tempting” in December when she had bent over to pick up a pingpong ball. He also supposedly held up his foot as if to kick her.
Little has denied the candy incident and has said his “tempting” comment was misconstrued.
On Tuesday, Little declined to comment about any of the students’ complaints. He said his retirement has nothing to do with his reassignment.
Parents of students involved in the complaints had different opinions about the school district’s response to the allegations.
One wanted Little removed from all contact with students.
The district response “has betrayed the children’s trust as far as I’m concerned,” said Julie Ramsey, whose son was one of the three students asking for candy. “It has made victims out of the victims. As a mother, I think it’s abhorrent. I really would have gone to any lengths to get my son away from him.”
Ramsey was able to remove her son from Little’s gym class in the fall.
Another parent, who didn’t wish to be identified, said she thinks the school district was following procedure.
Jerry Wilson, Riverside School District superintendent, said the district cannot discuss the specifics of Little’s case.
Little’s personnel file shows a history of student and parent complaints dating back to June 10, 1992. Another teacher complained in March 1992 of being intimidated by Little.
One parent complained in June 1992 that Little had left a bizarre message on her answering machine about her son that included a vulgar word.
Last August, Wilson wrote Little about the students who had asked for candy.
“This complaint is another in a series of incidents and complaints which I have received against you,” Wilson wrote. “The past complaints have included a past sexual harassment incident, the phone-answering incident, personnel file documentation and a parent complaint regarding gender issues.”
Little taught physical education, shop and history at the middle school. He now teaches construction trades to about 40 students at the high school and also teaches at the alternative school.