On June 26, the Rye City School District informed Osborn School teacher Carin Mehler that she would be back in the classroom this fall.
By Rye Record Staff
On June 26, the Rye City School District informed Osborn School teacher Carin Mehler that she would be back in the classroom this fall. Mehler, one of four elementary school teachers accused of improperly coaching students during state tests over two years ago, will teach sixth-grade Social Studies at Rye Middle School.
In a public announcement, the District said, “We have made a determination not to pursue charges against Mrs. Mehler.” While the District did not go into the specifics of the case, in their statement they explained their desire “to spare children the experience of being subpoenaed, testifying before a hearing officer, and being subjected to cross-examination by Mrs. Mehler’s attorney.”
Both the District and Mrs. Mehler said they were pleased that the matter has been concluded.
Mehler’s Manhattan attorney, Arthur Z. Schwartz, released a statement that said: “The treatment of Carin Mehler was contrary to everything we teach our children about our country… Carin Mehler begged for due process. She went to court and the District said they would eventually bring charges. But they didn’t.”
On June 4, a federal judge dismissed a suit brought by Mehler. The judge said that while the Rye City School District did not have sufficient evidence to prove wrongdoing by Mehler, it also did not violate her constitutional rights.
Throughout her “reassignment,” Mehler received her full salary and benefits. It is one reason why U.S. District Court Judge Cathy Seibel rejected Mehler’s claim that she was deprived of a “protected property interest.”
In May 2013, Mehler was one of four Rye teachers accused of improper coaching of pupils. Two teachers were formally charged; one resigned and the other paid a fine before returning to teach.
During the 2013-14 school year, the District spent nearly $273,000 to hire substitutes for the four reassigned teachers. By September 2014, the District had settled with three teachers, but not with Mehler.