Teacher disciplined for 'unnecessary physical force' kept teaching, received raise

    Cedar Park Middle School in Beaverton.

    KATU discovered a Beaverton middle school teacher was disciplined for using "unnecessary physical force" with students, but she was still allowed to teach.

    Anita Bradford, a former math teacher at Cedar Park Middle School, then received a substantial raise before being disciplined over similar accusations again and leaving her job nearly two years later.

    "It's really scary to think about," Michelle Mueller, the mother of a 7th grader at Cedar Park, told KATU Thursday. "I mean, if that kind of teacher was here, I wouldn't want my son here."

    KATU learned about Bradford's case through reports that appear on the website for Oregon's Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), a state agency that oversees the licensing of teachers and investigates misconduct.

    The latest report on Bradford, who declined to comment on this story, was published Jan. 28.

    The documents, or final stipulated orders, say Bradford repeatedly violated professional standards in the way she treated students.

    The former teacher, who signed both orders, taught at Cedar Park Middle School from August 2014 to June 2017.

    The first order says in 2015 Bradford "violated professional standards related to classroom management and unnecessary physical force with students."

    It says, "In the presence of other 7th grade students, Bradford addressed a non-compliant 7th grade student (XX) as a 'turd.' Bradford also admonished a group of students, stating something to the effect of, 'You are acting like a bunch of little shi.. ...but the district concluded that she implied the word '(expletive).'"

    The order says, "Students also reported Bradford physically engaged with student (XX), pushing him with her shoulder and hip. Bradford explained she only used her hand to direct (XX) to his seat. The district also indicated that students reported Bradford pushed (another) student (YY), who was running towards the doorway. Bradford explained that she put her hand up to stop (YY), who ran into Bradford's hand then dramatically fell to the floor to get attention."

    On May 22, 2015, school officials issued Bradford a letter of reprimand for violation of policies, specifically for "unprofessional language and inappropriate physical contact with students," and subsequently put her on an assistance plan which they said she successfully completed at the end of November and she remained in the classroom.

    In 2017, the TSPC imposed a public reprimand on Bradford's teaching license over the 2015 incidents, but she was still allowed to teach.

    "If you're going to let them hurt somebody, do physical contact with the child, you shouldn't be allowed to work there and especially you should not be a teacher at all," Mueller said.

    In 2017, the TSPC says there were more problems.

    The agency says, "Bradford engaged in inappropriate physical contact with a student when she struck a student with the classroom door, causing injury to the student."

    A final stipulated order says, "Bradford looked at him through the window of a door and forcibly opened the door, striking (the student), (ZZ), on the hip with the door handle and running the door sill over the top of his foot, smashing his toes. (ZZ) fell to the floor wailing in pain. Bradford walked past (ZZ) to the counselor's office then returned to her classroom, passing by (ZZ) who was still crying on the floor. Bradford failed to acknowledge (ZZ), render aid, care, or assistance. Other adults and students heard or witnessed (ZZ) wailing in pain after being struck by the door. The counselor rendered assistance to (ZZ). Other individuals who were interviewed failed to support Bradford's version of events and added that Bradford's classroom management was sub-par and contributed to the disruptive nature of her classroom."

    The order says Bradford was placed on administrative leave on May 31, 2017, as the Beaverton School District investigated her alleged conduct. On June 22, 2017, the order says district officials determined Bradford's conducted violated district policy and move to fire her. Bradford then chose to resign, the TSPC says.

    Last month the agency suspended her teaching license for 60 days and put her on two years probation.

    A KATU reporter discovered that in May 2015 when the first incidents were reported Bradford made $65,458 a year. When she resigned her annual salary was $75,520, a more than 15 percent increase.

    News In Photos

      Loading ...