Gig Harbor teacher seen in cell phone video placed on leave

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on August 31, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 31 at 5:42 PM

GIG HARBOR, Wash. -- The Gig Harbor teacher seen on cell phone videos wrestling and harrassing a 13-year-old student will not be teaching when school resumes next week.

The Peninsula School District placed John Rosi on paid administrative leave following a series of complaints from parents.

The incident with the student occurred in February. At the time, Rosi received a 10-day suspension, without pay, as punishment.

The February incident went public this week when the parents of the boy released the cell phone videos taken by other students who were present. The boy's parents were upset the teacher did not lose his job from Kopachuck Middle School.

The district moved Rosi to Harbor Ridge Middle School where he was scheduled to teach seventh and eighth grade math starting Tuesday.

Since the release of the videos this Wednesday, a number of parents asked to have their students transferred out of Rosi's class.

Acting Superintendent Chuck Cuzzetto said the district decided to place Rosi on paid leave in the best interest of the school and the students.

"His assignment there is a disruption to the educational process," said Cuzetto.

Cuzetto said Rosi is on "indefinite" leave.

His status could change depending what comes out of a criminal investigation by the Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Cuzzetto said that because Rosi was already punished for the incident, he cannot be fired from the district unless something new comes out of the police investigation.

Rosi has not responded to KING 5 News's requests for an interview.

Threat against Rosi

The Pierce County Sheriff's Department said Friday it investigated a threat made online against Rosi.

According to the department, the threat was posted on the Peninsula School District's website on Thursday morning and threatened violence against Rosi if he refused to resign.

Investigators contacted the person who wrote the comment and served a search warrant at that person's apartment in Lynnwood. The person told investigators the online "comment was poorly worded and was not intended to threaten anyone in anyway."

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