PORT ORANGE, Fla. (WKRG/CNN Newsource) — A Florida teacher who was seen on camera mowing his lawn naked is fighting to get back into the classroom. The elementary school teacher was demoted when the video was given to police in 2017.
Volusia United Educators President Elizabeth Albert is clear, when long time teacher Brian Wheeler mowed the yard naked at his Port Orange home in 2017, he made a very poor decision. A neighbor, according to the documents Wheeler believes hs issues with him anyway, recorded Wheeler and filed a police complaint. Wheeler was charged with exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct. The exposure charge was dropped and the disorderly conduct dismissed in a deferred prosecution agreement. Wheeler is not convicted of a crime.
“This is a man who has over two decades of history teaching children in our community and successfully teaching them,” says Albert.
Brian Wheeler was at Cypress Elementary in Port Orange when he was removed, a tenured teacher with an unblemished record, according to documents we obtained. Many parents and colleagues supported him. However, a handful of families of young children did not. School district officials, who gave Wheeler a written reprimand along with a demotion out of the classroom, refused to reconsider.
In addition to Volusia County, the State Department of Education investigated and just this past May, found probable cause in Brian Wheeler’s case to pursue disciplinary action. The complaint will be heard in October.
However, Union President Albert says a settlement has been reached in Wheeler’s case and the October hearing is just a rubber stamp. According to Albert and the paper work she showed, Wheeler will be fined but will retain his teaching credentials.
“Which would infer that they feel that he is still of the caliber that is able to work with our kids and teach,” says Albert.
Albert says since the school district has so far refused that, the union will arbitrate on Brian Wheeler’s behalf.