Teacher Andrew Harris is expected to be back in a Middleton classroom this week after an expensive, but failed, effort by the Middleton-Cross Plains School District to uphold a unanimous 2010 school board vote to fire him for repeatedly viewing pornography on his work computer.
The parties being blamed in this unhappy homecoming — other than Harris himself — are many.
Some say the board should have stopped spending money on appeals once an arbitrator ordered Harris’ reinstatement. Others blame Harris’ union for going to bat for a guy who, well, repeatedly viewed porn on his work computer. Then there are the arbitrator and the courts that took Harris’ side.
But really, the chief culprits in the Harris affair might be the school district’s residents, who have now learned a valuable lesson: Unions are good things, but like any other good thing, too much of it can make you sick.
Harris’ main defense was that he was treated unfairly in comparison with colleagues who were disciplined — but not fired — for engaging in some of the same sorts of conduct.