Should a person facing ten different felony charges and possibly 82 years in prison be allowed to continue to teach? I know that you are supposed to be considered as innocent until proven guilty, but when someone has been indicted by a grand jury and forced to wear a court-issued ankle bracelet, would you want that person teaching your kids?
William ‘Kal’ Kalinowski is a teacher at LBJ Middle School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has been indicted on ten felony counts of fraud and embezzling clients of millions of dollars stemming from his former high-end home construction company that he ran in Santa Fe.
Despite the felony indictments against him, Kalinowski has been able to retain his teaching credentials and has been allowed to return to the classroom. Some parents and school board members are questioning whether or not he should be allowed to continue to teach until he has been cleared or convicted of the charges.
A spokesperson for the school district stated:
“We found that there’s nothing that bars the district from keeping Mr. Kalinowski employed.”
“The accusations brought against him have nothing to do with students or school activity whatsoever. Every employee is afforded due process and in this country you’re innocent until proven guilty.”
Marty Esquival, a school board member believes that allowing Kalinowski to return to the classroom is a mistake. He stated:
“I respect the fact that the superintendent can make those decisions but I think it’s a bad idea. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to have this individual in our classrooms right now.”
Diana Fry, a parent of a student attending LBJ Middle School told the local media:
“I just don’t think it’s right for him to be teaching our kids.”
Dorothy Schwiedergoll, whose grandchild attends the school stated:
“If you don’t have integrity in all of your life, you can’t teach that to the children. I think they should wait and find out if he’s guilty or innocent.”
I’ve seen many other teachers accused of crimes, whether involving students, schools or outside of school, that receive administrative leave until their case has been resolved. I believe this would have been the wise thing to do for the Albuquerque school district to take. If the man’s honesty in dealing with adults is being questioned, how can you trust his honesty in dealing with your kids or grandkids?