September 01, 2004 1 min read

“The children say, ‘Miss Haley, I hope I’m in your class next year,’ and I say, ‘But sweetheart, I’ll be dead.’ Ha, ha, ha! It always upsets them.”

—Lakeland Senior High School English teacher Hazel Haley. The 87-year-old, who started teaching when she was 20, was recently honored as the longest-serving teacher in Florida.

“We cannot discriminate against someone because they have a criminal background.”

—Milwaukee Public Schools spokesman Phil Harris, explaining that state law allows convicted felons to work in public schools as long as their crime is not “substantially related” to the job. A local TV station discovered this past May that Michael Richardson, a teacher’s aide working with teenage special education students at the Milwaukee School of Languages, had gone to prison for giving tequila and cocaine to a 17-year-old girl in 1990, when he was a city police officer.

“If you want to flip burgers and drive around in your mother’s old car, stay here and graduate.... If you want to own a $900,000 home and a boat down in the marina, come to the School of Business and Technology.”

—Rocky Chavez, principal of the Oceanside, California, charter school, speaking to Oceanside High School students while on a recruiting visit, as quoted by district superintendent Kenneth Noonan. The district has since prohibited Chavez from recruiting.