February 4 | San Jose Mercury News

School officials in the East Bay town of Brentwood have claimed they couldn't fire a teacher who pulled a 5-year-old student from his chair in 2010 and kicked him as he lay on the ground. They said state teacher dismissal rules were too cumbersome.

They're wrong on the first point: There was plenty of evidence to pursue a dismissal case against Dina Holder, who eventually pleaded no contest to misdemeanor child abuse for the incident. And there was no rational reason for leaving her in the classroom for 2½ more years.

But Brentwood officials were right about the second point: The teacher discipline and dismissal process is too costly and drawn out. It discourages school officials from trying to get rid of ineffective and abusive teachers, even when they have good cases.

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