• Embattled Brownsburg teacher fired

    June 14, 2011 No comments

    A Brownsburg teacher has been fired after a student accused him of intimidation .

    Orchestra director Christian Starnes was at the school board meeting where his firing was announced.

    The board of trustees for Brownsburg schools did not renew the contract of Starnes, who taught orchestra at Brownsburg High School and East Middle School. Superintendent Jim Snapp recommended the decision based on testimony in a board meeting Friday.

    As quickly as the decision not to renew Starnes contract was announced, the meeting was adjourned without letting anyone in attendance comment. A defeated looking Starnes stared on grateful for the support but now contemplating retiring from teaching all together.

    Board president Kim Armstrong said, “We firmly believe that it is the responsibility of the district to insure a safe and nurturing environment for all students.”

    Starnes said, “It was my action and I accept responsibility for it and this is the consequence.”

    Starnes admitted to verbally threatening the student but said he repeatedly asked the administration to have the student removed from his class to no avail.

    Starnes declined to pursue a public hearing over the decision. He was suspended in April for charges of intimidation. Starnes allegedly threatened a student and had a protective order filed against him by the student’s parents. Officials said there were other incidents involving Starnes that were discussed at the hearing

    A support base for Starnes grew as information came out, and supporters created a Facebook page to keep people informed of meetings and opportunities to speak out.

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