V'Ville teacher suspended for misconduct

A physical education teacher at C. A. Bouton High School was suspended for 60 days without pay by the Voorheesville Central School District for four charges of misconduct, insubordination and conduct unbecoming a teacher.

Robert Crandall, 54, a tenured teacher, stood accused of charges stemming from incidents in the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years. Crandall's suspension began Oct. 21.

The case was ruled upon by hearing officer Ronald Kowalski, in accordance with education law.

According to a report detailing the case from the state education department's division of employer-employee relations, it was Kowalski's opinion that this discipline should make (Crandall) aware of the severity of his misconduct and hopefully recognize that if such misconduct occurs again it would likely lead to his dismissal from service.

In September 2003, high school principal Mark Diefendorf, initiated an investigation of Crandall. The focus of the inquiry was an incident that took place that same month, during which Crandall allegedly asked a male student: "Who is that hot (sexy) blond you're running with?"

The comment was made in reference to, and in the presence of, a 10th grade female while she and the other student were running on the track during class.

According to the hearing's report, Crandall did acknowledge that he made a remark on that date, but said he did not remember exactly what he said. According to Crandall's defense, the district failed to sustain the allegations and neither student involved was called to testify.

Crandall could not be reached for comment.

Although the exact wording of the phrase was unclear, the hearing officer, in his ruling said that testimony established that the remark was "of a nature (Crandall) had been counseled in the past to avoid with students."

In March 2004, it was reported that Crandall was accused of making another inappropriate comment.

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