January 26 | Contra Costa Times

By Matthias Gafni

She pulled a 5-year-old special-needs student from his chair, then kicked him as he lay on the ground. 

But while parents in the Brentwood Union School District railed against district officials this week for failing to fire teacher Dina Holder for her actions, those who have studied the laws governing teacher dismissal said the outcome is all too easy to understand.

Firing a tenured teacher who poses a threat to students takes too long and is too expensive, according to lawmakers, child advocates and teacher union representatives -- but none of them agree on how to fix the problem.

Holder retained a job even though she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor child abuse charge in the 2010 incident. She was transferred to another school, where she taught until a legal settlement reached this month mandated her removal from the classroom. 

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