A New Jersey elementary school teacher who had been accused of urinating in plastic bottles during class and having his students flush the contents in the bathroom has been fired after a two-year legal delay over tenure, according to a published report.
Ron Tuitt, who taught second grade in the Paterson Public School District for more than a dozen years, was placed on administrative leave in November 2010 after school officials learned of several incidents the year before that involved him allegedly relieving himself in trash cans in his classroom or in plastic bottles that students were then asked to empty in the boys' bathroom, according to NorthJersey.com.
Strict teacher tenure laws prevented further action at the time, authorities said.
On Tuesday, state Education Commissioner Christopher Cerf revoked Tuitt's tenure and granted the school district's request to fire him. The decision came about a month and a half after an administrative law judge ruled that the conduct Tuitt displayed, according to court documents, "was inappropriate and unprofessional and constitutes conduct unbecoming a staff member" -- key considerations that must be met in order for a tenured teacher to be terminated.
The state found the teacher once urinated in a classroom trash can, sometimes urinated in a plastic bottle and asked students to take his waste to the boys' bathroom and flush it, and let students sit in his motorized wheelchair.
Tuitt, 56, had also been accused of driving students home when he shouldn't have and sending inappropriate, accusatory e-mails to parents after he was placed on administrative leave.
Tuitt, who uses a wheelchair, denied some of the charges and told the state that others were because he was ill and his principal removed some accommodations.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Cerf says any changes to accommodations did not excuse his behavior.
The school board said it was pleased the commissioner supported the district in the case.
"We put our trust in this man to teach our children and he put them in a very unhealthy education environment," Board President Christopher Irving told NorthJersey.com.
Tuitt did not immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.