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Updated: 10/8/2009 - 4:20 AM

Crude Riverhead teacher back in class
He's fined $35,000 for improper behavior but dodges a dismissal
  72 comments below

A Riverhead schools English teacher suspended for over three years for crass behavior in the classroom and around co-workers is back at work this fall -- even after the district recommended his firing and a hearing officer upheld 17 of 28 charges leveled by the district.

James Walter, 37, was fined $35,000 by the district for making comments at school that mocked the mannerisms of homosexuals and mentally retarded students and for routinely voicing vulgar remarks to female staffers, among other transgressions, according to the August ruling reviewed by the News-Review.

While he upheld a majority of the district's charges, state hearing officer David Gregory ruled that the middle school teacher should not be fired or suspended because Mr. Walter "is an excellent classroom teacher." The 11 other charges were dismissed and redacted from the released paperwork.

Mr. Walter was teaching English in the high school when he was suspended in May 2006. Though he did not return to the classroom until last month, the Flanders resident continued to collect a paycheck from the district, making more than $240,000 during his time away from the students, according to salary documents obtained by the News-Review.

In his Aug. 24 ruling, Mr. Gregory said the district had proved that Mr. Walter "made comments referencing another individual's 'ass' and 'nipples,'" "displayed to a female staff member an image on a computer screen of a man with a tattoo on his penis" and told a female staff member "that shirt makes your boobs look huge." During a meeting last month, the school board voted to accept the ruling. The three-year hearing process cost the district over $314,000 in legal and investigative fees, school officials said.

Mr. Walter, whose brother Sean is the Republican candidate for Riverhead Town supervisor, also "exchanged e-mails with pornographic images on his classroom computer" and attempted to intimidate a female staff member who had been interviewed by investigators about him, according to Mr. Gregory's ruling.

'As a general principle, good teachers should be teaching.'
A high school teacher to whom Mr. Gregory refers as a "disappointed, jilted sexual partner" of Mr. Walter testified that she arrived at his house unannounced one July morning and found him in bed with a girl who had graduated from Riverhead High School that June.

But the hearing officer also praised Mr. Walter for his excellence in front of the blackboard. "As a general principle, good teachers should be teaching," he said in the ruling.

Contacted by the News-Review, Mr. Walter ultimately decided not to comment on the ruling, other than to say, "I felt the long-term ramifications outweigh any short-term benefits of me talking."

Meanwhile, Sean Walter, who is an attorney, called the release of the ruling involving his younger brother a political ploy engineered by town Democrats.

"What this shows me is desperation on the part of the Democrats because they know they're going to lose in November and I think the voters are going to see through it," he said. "This is not a political issue. This is an issue between my brother and the Riverhead School District.

"And it is my legal opinion that this was not a FOIL-able file, and whoever released this personnel file should be suspended or fired from the school district," he added.

The Riverhead school board's president, Angela DeVito, is a member of the Riverhead Democratic Committee, while another board member, Kathy Berezny, is a Democratic candidate for Riverhead Town Council. Superintendent Diane Scricca noted that the charges against James Walter were made long before his brother or Ms. Berezny became candidates. She added that it was the school district's attorneys who decided what parts of the ruling should be released and what parts should be blacked out.

The allegations against Mr. Walter were brought by the district in June 2006 during the administration of then-Superintendent Paul Doyle, who, ironically, was also being investigated by the district and subsequently resigned in October 2006 amid accusations of inappropriate behavior with a district employee.

The district brought against Mr. Walter what is known as a 3020(a) proceeding, which refers to the section of state election law dealing with disciplinary hearings for teachers who have tenure.

Mr. Walter had been an English teacher in Riverhead High School since the 2000-01 school year and was tenured in 2003-04. He was removed from the classroom in early May 2006.

Mr. Gregory's report states that "for approximately one year after being removed from the classroom, the district did not assign work to [Mr. Walter]. For the past two years, however, [he] works on the grounds, assigned to an auxiliary building where he prepares curricular materials and book packets for various English courses."

Mr. Walter was paid his full salary -- $79,486 in 2006-07 and $82,218 in 2007-08 -- during his time away from the classroom, according to the district's salary records. (Salary figures for 2008-09 were not available.) He had no disciplinary record prior to this case, according to the state report.

Dr. Scricca said state law requires the district pay an employee his or her full salary during the course of a 3020(a) hearing.

The district maintained during the hearing that the charges it brought "encompass the conscious, deliberate and repetitive activity of [Mr. Walter] over a three-year period, in which he continually conducted himself inappropriately in the classroom setting, with behavior ranging from the frequent use of foul language in front of the class to inappropriate banter during classroom discussions."

The district said he "also acted in an inappropriate manner towards colleagues, with behavior ranging from the frequent participation in sexual conversation in the English Resource Room to the display of pornography to staff members."

According to Mr. Gregory, Mr. Walter responded during the hearing that "this entire proceeding is a transparent vicious vendetta of wholly baseless and ludicrous allegations, concocted in rage and frustration by certain agents of the district engaged in a futile effort to justify after the fact the district's gross intrusion into his private, personal life regarding his dating a former student of the district, which ultimately revealed nothing."

The teacher said "the working environment, especially the English Resource Room, was thoroughly sexualized before" he began working there, and that "most of his teaching colleagues used salty language on a daily basis, and initiated graphic sexual conversations."

While Mr. Walter "admits joining in such ribald banter on occasion, this is a case of egregious disparate treatment and selective prosecution, violating the most fundamental precepts of due process and progressive discipline," he said at the hearing

Mr. Gregory, in his report, wrote that several former students "testified unequivocally and very credibly that [Mr. Walter] was a demanding, knowledgeable teacher who set rigorous, high standards. For some students, [Mr. Walter] was their first teacher to inspire in them a love of reading¬­."

Mr. Gregory wrote that "students who felt ostracized, marginalized or bullied apparently sensed that, in [Mr. Walter], they had an empathetic adult who would treat them with respect."

Additionally, Mr. Walter was a victim of "selective enforcement" by the district, and that the "coarse, vulgar ambiance of the English Department Resource Room" was not effectively controlled by the department head at the time, Mr. Gregory wrote.

Dr. Scricca, who was not in the district when the case against Mr. Walter began, said she cannot comment on a specific personnel issue, but she was critical of the 3020(a) process in general.

"It's too long and too expensive a process and too much of the burden of proof falls on the district," she said.

Notice about comments:
The Riverhead News-Review is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. The Riverhead News-Review does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not The Riverhead News-Review. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Service and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website.

Add your comments below:

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72 comments found

james : 8/21/2014
I was a close friend to James. He was with Lisa before she graduated. Which is immoral.

aAqaxTtrsorWGq : 10/20/2013
Inpi,We would love to have you as a helper, lveiang comments for students on their posts. No need to ask permission to translate the posts, as one of the original challenge participants, you can always use any posts I create and re-arrange them to suit yourself. Maybe you could write a post about surgery and having broken bones that the students could then reply to as one of the challenges . [url=]wqogtmmoe[/url] [link=]viytjmr[/link]

klZtGwXkMi : 10/7/2013
I hope this year is more enjoyable for you. My boys went back last Thursday, both are eexticd and loving it so far, but then again, it was only 2 days. ha ha ha

BkjdnuasNjhx : 9/6/2013
Greetings,I'm glad to see the new blogging aciittvy start. Thank you for all the work you put into this.Should I be signing up my class using this form, or will there be a separate one for classroom blogs?Evelyn Yvonne TheriaultSt-Lawrence School [url=]wvhohdm[/url] [link=]bmhqzglvnbd[/link]

GjyDlHFMMblNzbjm : 8/26/2013
Interesting - when I was a kid I remember using tunpintere w/oil pastels but since we don't use turp in elementary art classrooms I've never tried it again - so I'll have to give this a try. COOL. [url=]ofodlkalsc[/url] [link=]yihxgkwy[/link]

OAsxeWnybOQj : 8/24/2013
I did this with my 1st and 2nd graders and they loved it! I got a bunch of litlte plastic cups from the school nurse (like the medicine dispenser that comes on top of a cough syrup bottle) and filled those halfway with oil and each kid used 2 q-tips. They colored their picture, then spread the oil with the q-tips. I used 60# paper and the oil soaked through a litlte, but not too bad. My room smelled so good after this project :)

Best teacher : 3/24/2013
I graduated from the RHMS just last year, I had Mr.Walter as a teacher last year, in my 8th grade class. He is one of the most straight forward, honest, hard working teacher I've seen in that school. Yes, he would make up silly nicknames for his students, but who doesn't? He gave me the name "Lurch" from "The Addams Family" and I didn't mind, I actually thought it was hilarious, because I don't get offended easily. He also gave my friend the nickname "Fattahead" and he didn't care either. We'd actually go back at him with some other nicknames. He took it with a grain of salt. When we had downtime in his classroom, we'd have pretty clean conversations about pop culture and TV shows like the Jersey Shore, and how its one of the most stupidest TV shows out there. He would keep the conversations clean and make them more interesting to listen too. He took pride in his work, he was very straight forward with his students, if your work sucked, he would tell you that it sucked, but he would TEACH you to make it better. I've heard stories about this situation and honestly, everyone needs to grow up a bit. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES. Would you like to be brought up on the worst stuff you did in your life? I don't think so. Everyone on here is talking about "WHY IS HE STILL THERE? HES A DANGER TO RCSD AND SHOULDN'T BE ALOUD TO TEACH" No. He is one of the best teachers I could of asked for. I can say that he is a good person and a good friend. He has great advice for many things if you ask for his help/opinion. Ask some of his students about how he taught and acted in the classroom last year, and this year so far. My opinion is that he is a well rounded teacher with a great head on his shoulders, and that he should stay in this district with no problems whats-so-ever. He taught me a lot about English and life lessons that I won't forget.
Keep up the good work Mr.Walter! ~ Lurch

Ugh : 10/7/2012
I had him when we were next door to a class of special needs students. He called that class the "retard class". He also called kids stuff like "fags" and "fruitcakes" behind their backs, and I heard he told this one girl she shouldn't be friends with another girl because the other girl was unpopular/ And there was a time where he pulled up a student's web site to the class and mocked that student and got us to also.

Should not be here : 5/29/2012
I am currently an 8th grader at riverhead middle school. Mr. Walter is my English teacher and I find him very disturbing. He makes rude comments often, curses and makes fun of kids names. I have a classmate whose last name is Fata (Fay-ta) and Mr. Walter makes fun of him and calls him "fatass". Obviously pointing out his physical appearance(which isn't very healthy). It might just be my paranoia but it seems like he stares at me in class, when he talks it is like he purposely looks at me, as if I am the only one in the class. It is a creepy and I have not enjoyed the school year with him, nor felt like he was the best teacher.

hGvlCJWJPgl : 1/19/2012
H9N8AN , [url=]tqznfaoayewx[/url], [link=]ojtbzrnojxoc[/link],

lBSBwqqiZtFOTXoQFiw : 1/18/2012
cTlded , [url=]ckdwhgigwfoq[/url], [link=]yipdpapzwzxn[/link],

sXIJhxXkwrBroxpWZe : 1/16/2012
Hahahaha. I'm not too birhgt today. Great post!

meLpDpPAVLUNCWc : 1/13/2012
WkrcmF , [url=]gudelqwukqqn[/url], [link=]ewtaqvlcrkyh[/link],

jfsWcJrUpN : 1/9/2012
oOgvUs , [url=]yngnggruysks[/url], [link=]gvdeorpuxzdp[/link],

HUTRuHiLFKcu : 1/7/2012
Hats off to wohever wrote this up and posted it.

? : 12/21/2011
I wonder how much Mr. Gregory was paid by Walter's side for his ruling?

Correction to comment below : 12/17/2011
In the comment below, the school year dates are wrong. Every time it says 2003-2004 it ought to say 2002-2003. This error was made in part because the article said that Walter did not receive tenure until the 2003-2004 school year when in fact he learned that he was going to receive tenure at the end of his third year of teaching, which was during the 2002-2003 school year. I remember because I had him as a teacher during both years.

Why wasn't I interviewed during the investigation? : 12/17/2011
1.) During the 2003-2004 school year, the year in which Walter was up for tenure, Student A would visit my morning class with Walter on a basis that became daily toward May and June. Walter's attention would be completely centered on her every time she came and the students in his class would be left to their own devices, which may have not been such a bad thing in light of the second listed fact. These visits started under the pretense that Student A needed help with schoolwork, personal matters, etc. On one such visit in which she "needed help" with a collage for art class (a dubious request as an elementary student would have been able to complete the project and any competent teacher would have encouraged her to finish it on her own rather than indulge her feigned helplessness), Walter spilled collage glue all over the crotch of her black pants. Student A exclaimed, "It looks like you just nutted on my pants!" Student A and Walter laughed off the situation in front of the class.
This fact obviously calls into question Walter's claim that the unethical relationship began shortly after Student A had graduated. However, regardless of the inception date of their relationship, a teacher interacting in such an inappropriate way with a student during class time with other students is obviously not prioritizing his professional responsibilities. This classroom management defect would be even more of a concern in a middle school classroom where student-presented distractions are even greater.
2.) Walter was, and probably still is, absolutely daft when it came to basic literary comprehension. During the 2003-2004 school year, we read The Great Gatsby. When I was unfortunately placed in his class again the following year, he claimed that Daisy Buchanan was "a J.A.P." This comment reflects a profound misreading of the text, as one can easily infer that Daisy is White Anglo Saxon Protestant. His vehement rejection of my correction led me to wonder what prejudice may have led to him to so vitriolically defend his error.
3.) Walter was found guilty of 17 of 28 charges, yet the hearing officer claimed that he was an "excellent classroom teacher" which demonstrates the corruption of the tenure system. Teachers like Walter expose why tenure can be too powerful -- it is nearly impossible to get rid of awful teachers. Additionally, the glowing opinion of the investigative officer reflects, at best, that the selection of students interviewed was biased. At worst, it shows that the investigation was internally compromised by more insidious means.
4.) In light of Walter's comments on Cher's post, I regret that I was not interviewed during his investigation. His disgusting and pernicious comments are yet another example of why he too unscrupulous to be a teacher. I also regret that I did not say something to someone during the year he undeservingly received tenure.
Enjoy the facts, Walter.

No words... : 12/17/2011
That man is truly a foul human being. There are no words that sufficiently explain the extent of his immorality. He is a terrible teacher and a terrible person, whether it's making fun of students with learning disabilities one day, making anti-LGBT comments the next, or ridiculing those of low socioeconomic status the day after.

perception of corruption : 11/21/2009
Many people in our community believe that the only reason we have certain individuals retaining their positions in our community is pure politics. That means corruption.

friends with children : 11/21/2009
whenever I hear a child say that they consider any adult, let alone a teacher, to be a "friend," it raises immediate red flags in my mind. Parents and teachers and school administrators especially who seek out children as friends and lead children to believe they are their friends are disturbed. And now I've heard Mr. Walters and the high school principals, two individuals with tainted records, described by children as "friends." It's alarming.

disgusting : 11/19/2009
This case shows there is something seriously wrong with the way things are done in Riverhead and perhaps in education. We should be learning lessons here and fixing systemic and legal problems so that exceptional cases like this don't go the wrong way. Mr. Walters is clearly a person of low character, and it's well known that he is a frightfully poor teacher. What is the matter with parents in this district?

walter : 11/17/2009
He was the worst teacher I've ever had and I can't believe they're letting him back into this school. It was as if he was still living in his college years - with his stupid rugby picture on the wall and thinking it was okay to make fun of the "retards" and the "fags." Oh RHS, how can you do this?

He belongs back in the classroom : 10/7/2009
I cant believe this article to start. As a former student of Mr. Walter i am one of the first that would go to bat for him at anytime if called upon. I can tell from reading the comments that you people only know half of the story and are easily swayed by the media. This is the first time ive been disgusted by an article written by the Times Review. Mr. Gannon forgot the parts about Mr. Walter being a great teacher and very straight forward man. If there was a problem with your performance in the classroom, or your actions he would be the first to tell you what was wrong. Get to know either of the Walter brothers and i can guarentee your negative opinions will change drastically. Like i said, i sat in his classroom seven years ago and to this day consider him a friend and a person that i could still go to for advice at any time. Smarten up Riverhead and learn to look past all the BS the media feeds you.

Response to "so tight" : 10/7/2009
It is quite clear you are an immature 8th grader. You should perhaps spend more time learning english from Mr. Walter instead of worrying about his personal life...It is okay for people to have pictures of their spouses on their desk. She is a grown up he married her when she was 24. It was 6 years after she graduated not when she was a senior. Your spelling and grammer are horrific, and you need to worry about academics while you are in school not your teachers personal life.

: 10/7/2009

Life Goes On : 10/7/2009
For starters, I take great offense (and many would agree) to the claim that "it's not like RH can attract the best teaching material." RCSD is a great district with incredible teachers. I consider myself both extremely lucky and proud of having been a graduate of RHS. I also attribute much of my success in the past 7 years since high school to the education offered and the teachers there. Furthermore, so many RHS alum that go into the field of education, hope to come back and eventually teach in this district and inspire students the way they once were. What Mr. Walter did was wrong. There is no question about the inappropriateness of his actions and whether it belongs in the classroom. He acted like an immature kid, when he should have been an adult. I think it would be in his best interest to move on from RCSD and start elsewhere, but that’s not my decision to make. I also hope he learned his lesson and never makes these mistakes again. I do, however, feel that he was an amazing teacher. He is the best English teacher I had at RHS, and one of the best teachers I’ve encountered over the years. Most can't seem to comprehend that to be possible, but it is. He helped us develop into adults and prepare for the real world. He taught us to love literature and inspired us to strive to be better students. And that is what a teacher is supposed to do. While he may have had a relationship with a former student, he also married her. It wasn’t some torrid love affair, but rather, a lifelong commitment to his now wife. It’s not like either party set out with the intentions of having a relationship, but things do happen. He isn’t the terrible child molesting demon portrayed in the News-Review or these public comments. What’s done is done and life goes on.

are you people crazy? : 10/7/2009
I agree with the comment to add him to the list. Seems to me that in order to get hired as an administrator at RH you need to have a dwi and or beat up gas station attendants. Oh, and which ever admin said that teachers are going to start teaching using things like IPODS and Iphones is a complete moron.

so tight : 10/7/2009
im in the 8th grade nd he is now my english teacher. i didnt think this was true but then again i did cuz wen i herd about it it seemed like he stared at me more., i asked him about this situation one day in cass nd he replied." this is not the time or the place to discuss this right now." just 30 mins ago i was talkin to him in class about my behavior. i have to admit he does have a picture of his wife on his desk. she does look very young. i say this because they say he married the senior. wow i cant beleive he my teacher. creepy what makes it worse he teaches at the middle school.

Enough is enough! : 10/7/2009
Add him to the long list that Riverhead has, DWI High School Principal whom has yet to be held accountable and now sexually threatening teachers. When is enough enough? What's next a corrupt administration?

Tenure : 10/6/2009
I think the guy needs some counseling about how to handle the stress of working in a District like RH . And let's face it , it's not like RH can attract the best teaching material anyway . But more importantly , as a former Union Rep , this message Board is a prime example of why we have Tenure Laws and and due process . And... it was probably the Admin. fault that this guy is still teaching . They probably did not do the due dilligence that is necessary to make a case stick . It was THEY who lost the $ 300 K . And no small part of that is the overall environment that they foster with their incompetent management . Finally , let this be a lesson to all teachers to demand in service courses that spell out in detail using case law the reality of 3020a .

Crude teacher dodges dissmissal : 10/6/2009
Your article refers to the Hearing Officer's finding that this teacher "exchanged e-mails with pornographic images on his classroom computer" Didn't a school principal in Hampton Bays get fired about four years ago for the same thing?

Money!?!?!?!?! : 10/6/2009
A fine example. "He paid his money" One, I'm surprised anyone would accept. (He was paid way more for not teaching.) His behavior took place on school grounds. The actions that took place off campus involved Co-workers and students. They are the victums. Not Mr. Walter. I'm appalled. They might have found a loop hole in the law. But I for one, question the morals of the person who placed him back in a public school. If he is such a good teacher, he should be teaching adults.

Come on people : 10/5/2009
The guy did his time. He paid his money, he has certainly been embarressed enough( which was clearly the idea the News-Review had). It is about time the posts regarding his personal life have been deleted. Maybe if you have a problem with him you should FOIL the other information and see the whole story. This is old news....he sat with other teachers in the trailer (Shay, Gevinski, Davey) They did things that were just as wrong.. No one cared until his brother became elected....let the guy live in peace....and to the person who previously commented if your daughters want to make as much as New York teachers tell them to move to New York....they would also have to pay more to live....

crude teacher allowed to return : 10/5/2009
Are you nuts allowing this person to teach out kids!!! Three years and he makes how much did he make for not working......Now I know why taxes are so high...I have two daughters that teach down here in Alabama and Mississippi and it would take them 11 years to make him he is not an example I want for my grandchildren....

Crude Riverhead teacher back in class : 10/5/2009
Fromthe time they are old enough to understand and certainly when they enter kindergarten our children are taught and encouraged that responsibility, self control, respect and trustworthiness among other things are characher traits they should all strive for and seek to achieve. These goals are in fact listed on the school district calendar every month. The Mission/Vision Statement of the Riverhead School District states in part it is their aim of the District to provide an envoirnment for students to become tomorrow's leaders by providing an enviornment that fosters integrity and respect. Our children are now faced with with a role model who apparently has disregarded the very objectives they have been taught to aspire to. Most students in the school are very well aware of the controversy surrounding this teacher. The lesson they're getting from this situation is if you've got connections, power, the cooperation of others you can wait it out and get away with it. Juding by some of the other comments posted there seems to have been issues like these going back seven or so years and prior to his employment in this district. My question is how was he awarded tenure? I hope the News Review stays on top of this story.

Response to "If you really want to know" : 10/5/2009
Poor Jim Walter??? He's the victim????? Are you on crack! If this was just one or two women who complained then maybe your comments would make some sense, but this was many women and many complaints...27 original counts. I assume you are either friends with or related to Jim Walter b/c there would be no other reason to defend him. There is a huge difference between appropriate (adult) workplace humor and being told that your "Breasts look huge" or your "nipples" are showing. These women were not complaining about crass humor, but about personal and offensive comments made to and about them. Did everyone need to know about his sexual exploits w/ colleagues and underage girls? Poor JimWalter also drank at graduation parties w/ underaged students and played a mean game of beer pong. So maybe you think you "know" more than you actually do. However, I do agree that administration is largely to blame...when the victimized teachers begged for help the principal (at that time) told them to stop being so "sensitive" and "play nice with the boys" As far as using Jim to demean hoo! Given enough time Sean can do bad by himself.

FOIL : 10/4/2009
From the looks of this board. Not all questions were answered and some issues are not resolved. Good thing we are all aloud to FOIL the case. Let's hope that dosen't change.

If you really want to know: : 10/4/2009
FOIL the testimony of Mr. Walter's case so you can see what passes for normalcy. AND DEMAND THOSE teachers get fired/executed/fined. Start 3020A’s on them! Also, the former English teacher who got fired transported students home after the talent show, drank beer, and smoked pot with students, which is why the person was transported out of the building by security. The person also had a hard time standing and some students were trying to take care of her/him as the thought they were a student. WHERE WAS the newsreview on that? What about when drugs arrests are made at the school? Silence does mean consent! How about when there was riot at the school several years back when the "ride for life" guy came into the parking lot with the police (I think it was 3 cars full of kids came to the school to fight). The police brought several students in for questioning. I thought dozens would have been arrested from my vantage point of BEING IN THE MIDDLE. When the parents showed up to the police station they were yelling about the same argument as the kids! As my former student's mother told me when she asked him how his 1st week of HS was his response was "raw dirt." I thought this paper would have picked some of these things up, then I realized that you and others in the community CHOOSE to look the wrong way--shame on you! You are a bigger problem then somebody who met his wife weirdly enough as a former student. Your silence affects 5000 kids in RHCSD, as opposed to his teaching 70 kids. Did the report not say he was “excellent” in the classroom? Which is a far cry from a lot of other classroom teachers who burnout: due to what happens to them day in and day out in the schools. Why does everybody leave the faculty of the HS when they have a chance (supt./administrators esp., good teachers)? Well it's plain and simple on the inside, but if you have never been there, you simply could not believe your eyes and ears. I guess the paper will ignore whatever they want about the schools. Only to make hay when their candidate is in a POLITICAL RACE. You are despicable! Please parents educate yourselves concerning the goings-on in the schools! Start by talking to your students and demanding something called discipline. It’s a good place to start. SUPPORT YOUR TEACHERS!

Crude Riverhead teacher back in class : 10/4/2009
And the Republicans are asking us to vote for his brother for supervisor of the Town of Riverhead ? Come on now ! The Walter brothers need to move on to another show ! in some other town , not Riverhead ! Wise up Riverhead taxpayers !

question : 10/4/2009
The decision of this case/sistuation, could it effect the decisions of other similar cases?

Decorum in school : 10/4/2009
A teacher should set an example fro his/her students everyday in the classroomand uphols prefessional and honorable standards with his/her stdents and faculty members. Once a teacher enters the school building, he/she is a representative of what makes a good and positive role model for our chidren ans should respect the job he/she is set out to do. In the case of Mr. Walter, he has allowed himself to ruin the repuation of not only himself, but RHCSD as well. He let those standards upheld by teachers everywhere go by his actions and behavior. Kids do not just learn by what they see on the blackboard, they look up to the teacher in front of it. The decorum of the classroom is lost with this man still teaching in it. I believe thatne inappropriate teacher behavior is brought into the school, that teacher should be terminated without pay. What has happened to professionalism in the workplace? If you wish to conduct yourself in this manor - Do it at home! It does not belong in school.

Child Molester : 10/3/2009
If anyone wants to protest this and picket in front of the school something should be organized because I for one would be out there every single day. It makes me ill that he would ever be allowed to have any contact with a student. This pervert needs to be kept away from children at all costs, especially middle school girls. I would not be surprised if this man did drugs and engaged in other types of criminal activities. This is not a political issue between Republicans and Democrats, this is an issue of how we want to raise our children in this town.

Any one know? : 10/3/2009
There was one Hearing Officer? Are these cases usually heard by a panel of three?

Crude Riverhead teacher back in class : 10/3/2009
James Walter is a sick man and the Riverhead School District is sick for keeping him near our children. VOTE NO IN MAY!

Humiliation?? : 10/3/2009
Timing is bad, however, cearly there was an issue. One with the outcome decided by a Hearing Officer. A $35,000. fine & charges still remain. I don't think a janitor would get the same treatment. I'm Very surprised this Officer aloud Mr. Walter back in the class room. Sad to see Mr. Walter (the attorney's) legal opion being what it is. The only humiliation is the sistuation that was brought on by themselves.

RHS: : 10/3/2009
What a human being goes through on a daily basis (Humiliation by students/Administrative abuse) while working for RHCSD is not worth any amount of money. I know from years of personal experience. This piece is obviously a political hit by an “independent newspaper” (who openly supports Cardinale) to manufacture opinion against a family member of an employee of RHCSD. I wonder if this paper ran articles about Bill Clinton being a pig because of his convicted cocaine dealing half-brother Roger Clinton? This periodical has less shame than the NY Post and the National Enquirer combined. It should also run a correction to the story, that spells out how the candidate was not getting pornographic images sent to him by his brother—convenient juxtaposition I must say! By the way, the taxpayers of RHCSD should be happy that a Teacher like Jim Walter can take this on chin, like he did when he was a victim of sexual harassment by both male and female colleagues from 2000 to 2004. He puts his heart and soul in what he does. I wonder if the peanut gallery of naysayers would have the inner fortitude to continue to excel at your jobs after being sexually harassed for 4 years, and then singled out and disgraced by a former lover/stalker for the last 3 years? That is 7 years on intolerable working conditions! Not to mention what passes for normalcy in RHCSD. Unfortunately, RHCSD is truly a horrible place to work despite it representing a wonderful community. The real problem starts at the top, as administrators helped create the tone of the English Resource Room.

?!?!?! : 10/2/2009
Riverhead, what are you thinking? I am a former student whom he (unfortunately) had for two years, and he was among the worst teachers I had. He actually had the audacity to make very negative comments about me to one of my best friends as well- I was creeped out by him and harbored a distinct animosity before the pedophile stuff even came out. I pity the current students. WHY IS HE BACK IN THE CLASSROOM? *This* former student is a teacher and thinks he is a disgrace to the name of teaches

making sure : 10/2/2009
Making sure your kid dosn't get him will be a 6year ordeal. He can teach 7th-12th grade English, and be moved at any year.

are you serious??? : 10/2/2009
I have one word to describe this guy...dirtbag. He should''ve gotten fired and not suspended. What was the school board thinking? His teaching license should be taken away and he should never be allowed to teach anywhere in the world. When I read the headline on the first page this week...I knew it was about him. I was surprised that he was only suspended and got paid for it. The discrict waste 1/2 million dollars on this guy and other teachers paid the price by being laid off.

Are you Kidding?? : 10/2/2009
Why did the Board accept this ruling? What is going to happen the first time he makes a comment again? I know my child will not get him. If we as the community HAVE to accept this ruling then leave him in the closet pushing papers and away from the kids. As a teacher you dont get second chances around the kids. As for his brother, thanks News -Review for printing this story. His brothers comments about keeping his personnel file hidden in NUTS. His brother should not be dating a kid that just graduated, it is just wrong. When you become a politician your family life does come into play. If that is his family values, then I dont want him as our town supervisor. Middle school parents should get together and force this guy to be sidelined and out of the classroom until retirement!

Crude Riverhead teacher back in class : 10/2/2009
The Walter brothers ! Holly Cow ! Just wait -- Downtown Riverhead look out ! Redlight district ? dosen't get any better !

Mr. Walter : 10/2/2009
It is disturbing that the man running for the Riverhead Supervisor's job is protesting the release of this info against his brother. His brother's conduct cost the taxpayers more than 1/2 million dollars. It reveals the t ype of transparency a Walter administration would have.

Thankyou : 10/2/2009
For printing the Offical findings of an appointed hearing officer. As a concerned parent, I had many questions that where not answer

crude teacher : 10/2/2009
I applaude the news review for a well written article. This situation has been going on for years, long before Sean Walter was running for office. In fact it started at Jim Walter's former teaching position in East Hampton SD. The East Hamptom SD was smart enough to get rid of him! But ,in keeping with true Walter family arrogance, of course this is all about Sean and not about the vile actions of Jim Walters. The Walter's brothers seem to have all kinds of excuses for their behavior. Well- lets call this what it is "sexual harrassment & bullying." In any other profession Walter would have been fired immediately and the women and students he victimized would not have had to cope with this crap for all these years. Putting him back in ANY classroom is an insult to all women and the field of education! No wonder Riverhead SD has such a negative reputation on LI. As far as "Great" teachers...a truly great teacher knows that what is done outside of the classroom has as much impact on children as what happens inside the classroom. Teaching does not end with the bell, it is a tremendous responsibility. Our children deserve the best- not a man who sexualizes female students and co-workers! And all of you who defend him...what if this man victimized your sister? Wife? Mother? or child? Would you defend him then???????

J.Walters 10/1/09 : 10/2/2009
As usual the corrupt politics of RHSD are written all over this article. Spoon fed to the News Review for the public only to get a partial story. Hearsay is information gathered by one Person from another Person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which that person had no direct experience. Your kids are safe with Mr. Walter as a teacher. All this is...a sad stab by the Democrats to attack the Republicans. Usually stories make the News Review when a person is initially charged. So the impeccable timing of the release of Mr. Walter's personnel files are an obvious attack by the Democrats to try and salvage some part of this election. I am embarrassed to say I am a Democrat right now, but happy to say I am voting Republican for this election when it comes to saving Riverhead. I believe Mr. Jim Walter's settled with the charges, saving the district money and a longer fight so he can get back to where he the classroom. He's a teacher, someone who cares if your kids pass and wants your kids to be interested in school. He belongs in the classroom teaching, not putting together packets in a trailer. Riverhead is lucky to have a teacher like Jim Walter. Mr. Walter's only mistake is not reporting the stalker "disappointed" ex that showed up to his house to the police. I can only wonder is this how this entire thing started?

: 10/1/2009 deserves a raise

: 10/1/2009
I never had him as a teacher but if you did the right thing like show up to class on time and do your work he was a nice guy. He knew who i was and always said hi to me and was respectful so i don't have a bad word to say about the man. I wish more teachers were like him though because he keeps it real and tells it how it is

Walters : 10/1/2009
James Walter is the man.

Teacher : 10/1/2009
I don't know what he spent in attorney's fees but "we" the taxpayers spent over 300k for this hearing process. Nice to see our money spent on our children.....NOT.

disgusting! : 10/1/2009
This is horrific!!! This man is a loose cannon. Shame on the district for putting an entire school in jeopardy. It does not matter if he is the best teacher to ever walk the face of th earth. He is completly unprofessional and should not be anywhere near children. The teaching profession is flooded with professionals who would be happy to have his job and conduct themselves in appropriate way. As a parent, I would not my children anywhere near him! He does not even deserve to be a custodian in a school. I hope the district is saving their money for the upcoming legal associated with this moron!

: 10/1/2009
Anyone who thinks that just because he's a "good teacher", that his comments about mentally handicapped, and homosexuals should be overlooked is a complete idiot. It's not okay for anyone, let alone someone who is supposed to be shaping young minds to be this ignorant and intolerant. I don't care what context the comments were in- it's inappropriate. Beyond those comments, making comments to female students about their NIPPLES, is not only weird and creepy, but highly inappropriate, and since when is it okay to send pornographic material to people when you're AT WORK? I don't care if this teacher is the best English teacher to ever walk to planet, his behavior is simply inexcusable. So what that he "took a pay cut"- he still made over two hundred thousand dollars, and it's no one's fault but his own that he had to spend so much money on his lawyer fees. He shouldn't have done what he did.

Interesting. : 10/1/2009
If you have ever sat through one of Walter's classes you would understand what kind of teacher he is. He has shown so many students how to write and how to read with a better understanding. He belongs in a classroom and if you don't like how he talks...maybe you should grow some thicker skin...there are worse things in the world. There are teachers and administrators in that district that have done worse. let the guy just live.

The Riverhead Post? : 10/1/2009
I happen to glance at the online edition of the News Review from time to time because I have family friends from the area. I do not know the situation that took place in the RCSD concerning Mr. Walter, but to drag in his wife, and his brother who is running for political office is appalling. As a main source of local news, I feel as though a neutral stance should be taken on all stories. By mentioning his brother, YOU as a publication, backed an administration who seems to me, an outsider, has not done much for the town. If this was my only local newspaper, as a townsperson I would be upset, because the journo's who write for this paper seem to have agenda that may take away from the integrity of the paper.

Its over : 10/1/2009
Well I mean in all honesty we do have administrators who killed students and they are still around, so that analogy does not work. The guy did his time, took the pay cut, and sat out three years from doing what he loved. There is no reason to drag any of his other family members into this, be it his brother or his wife. Its between him and the RHSD, not Walter's Vs.

Ridiculous. : 10/1/2009
If you ask any student who attended Riverhead High school while he was a teacher, you could hear of all his indiscretions in great detail. Everyone knew he was having a sexual relationship with a student (to whom he's now MARRIED), and everyone knew he made disgusting, unprofessional comments all the time. The sad part is, there are rumors that he was let go from a former district for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. Some things never change.

Teacher : 10/1/2009
What a revolting story! As much as I disagree with brother Sean Walter's politics, I sympathize with him over the timing of the August decision of the state hearing officer. While everybody reaches the nadir during "silly season," this whole episode is perhaps the worst excruciating embarrassment for the whole town, the school district, and the politicians we've seen in a while. Gawd! It seems like it's one thing after another for the Riverhead schools, whether it's their fault or not. I'll try to cheer up, hoping things can't get any worse! At least the football team won. Whoopee.

: 10/1/2009
Mr walter was a great english teacher. He deserves to be back in the classroom!

: 10/1/2009
parents should protest in front of this guy's school everyday until he is forced out. Disgusting pigs belong on the farm not in front of our precious children!

: 10/1/2009
this is disgusting. james walter should never be allowed near a student ever again. and i would never vote for anyone from this family for any type of political office.

rhs : 10/1/2009
Get rid of him.....we don"t need teachers like that!How dare a teacher make any kind of comments like that......Bring old school back

Are you kidding me? : 10/1/2009
Something needs to change. Riverhead should never had been strong armed into giving this "teacher" tenure by his lawyer father. Secondly, if that is not grounds for removal by a school district, what is? Does a tenured teacher have to kill someone before the school district can remove them? Maybe the School district should make him an administrator, I think he would fit in quite nicely . This type of story makes me embarrassed to admit that I grew up here. Congrats RHSD, you have once again completely let down your taxpayers.

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