LEHMAN TWP. — A petition supporting a Back Mountain teacher involved in an altercation with a student will not spur a public discussion at the Lake-Lehman School Board’s April 11 meeting, the district superintendent said Wednesday.
On March 23, a physical altercation between a male Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School teacher and male student resulted in a teacher’s removal from school grounds and a sparked a still-active investigation by the Lehman Township Police Department, Pennsylvania Department of Education and Luzerne County Children and Youth.
“It is a matter of personnel for the executive session,” James McGovern, the superintendent said in an email Wednesday. “As per section 6311 of the Child Protection Services Law, all information concerning the incident have been turned over to Children and Youth Services. They have 60 days to complete the investigation.”
The incident prompted an outpouring of still-growing support among students for the teacher. A petition, titled “Save Mr. Hopfer’s Career,” was set up on www.change.org. District officials have declined to identify the teacher or student, but according to state records, a David Hopfer was certified as an industrial arts teacher since 1992.
To date, the petition has over 2,095 signatures.
The goal, according to information posted on change.org, is to acquire 2,500 signatures and present the petition, apparently created by a student, to the “school board and the House of Representatives.”
“I am aware of the petition and have read the contents posted online,” McGovern said in an email. “I applaud the individuals for expressing their opinions but am concerned those opinions are embedded in emotion and not factual information. In this case, all procedures have been followed, and there has been consistent communication with all parties.”