West Michigan closings and cancellations

Parents outraged by video of Bangor School staff making vulgar comments about students

Update (6:04 p.m. Feb. 14): Two Bangor teachers have resigned after a video surfaced that allegedly showed a group of teachers and school staff making vulgar comments about students.

Original story: 

BANGOR, Mich. -- The secretary of the superintendent of Bangor Public Schools has resigned and several teachers were disciplined after a video surfaced online that allegedly showed teachers and school staff playing a game at a bar. The game asks the players to name three people they would marry, have intimate relations with or kill, and the footage shows those staff members naming students and other teachers in the game. Some were names of students with special needs.

Many parents at the school board meeting Monday night demanded a time to sit down again and have more of their questions answered. They're also demanding the school board to say whether or not they knew about the video before Monday because it was recorded on Jan. 13.

Bangor Schools' attorney Robert Hubert announced there would be no further action taken against the staff members involved. Secretary to the superintendent, Patti Waite, resigned Monday morning. Two teachers were suspended and four other teachers were verbally reprimanded

"It's disturbing to know that these are our educators," said parent Jennifer Prentice. "They are in charge of protecting our children, keeping our children safe, and the fact that they just blew that out of the water shows their character and shows that maybe they're not right for this job."

"It was heartbreaking," said Amanda Reprogal, parent of a 15-year-old in the district. "My heart sank, and I was disgusted."

Reprogal says her son, Treyson, was one of the students named in the video.

"You teach your kids to respect authority, and then how do you respect authority figures when they behave like that?" said Ronnie Booker, Treyson's father.

"We made our best assessment based on the facts, and reasonable minds can differ about things," said Hubert. "This is our thought on what was best under the circumstances."

Hubert says the two teachers who were suspended will be on a probationary period for five years and closely watched.

"We're going to be following up and monitoring how these teachers do," said Hubert. "I think they've learned their lesson from all of this."

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208 comments

  • Steve Wilson

    Who video taped this game and published it on the internet? Not defending the lewd comments, but who wants someone evesdropping and taping peoples conversations at a bar and publishing them online? That is a little scary too..

    • Dawn L. Hernandez

      I’m guessing whoever taped it may have thought, “Oh wow, what if that were my child they were talking about?” I haven’t been to a bar in many years, but I don’t recall much of the conversations going on, as being memorable or noteworthy. This seemed to be both. Imagine if one of those students WERE abused in some way, and you had overheard this at a bar, and had done nothing about it?

    • scott

      “Following up and monitoring”? You think they’ve learned their lesson?
      Get rid of these child molesters NOW and resign! You’re all Blackballed

  • Robert

    The largest private school is run by Roman Catholics And 2 different Lutheran synods run the 2 nd largest and 4th largest private schools in the nation. With the 7th day Adventist in 3 rd place. The most conservative of these 4 would be the WELS Lutherans. I would think all would have moral clauses for teachers though that are more strict than public schools . AND Also the students would have some form of moral clauses to.

  • David Morrison

    As a retired principal: we know some teachers drink. There is also “inappropriate lounge” talk. It’s a moral and ethical issue. Unlike the old days, what happens outside school is personal. Didn’t use to be that way. I know: I’m 5th generation teacher/administrator.
    None the less: why would anyone post that on facebook or any other media.
    The Lesson. School personnel are held to higher standards (or should be) because role they play in students lives.
    These idiots have broken the public trust. My recommendation: terminate them.

  • Amos

    This attorney, the Super and the Board are scared sh!tless of the Teacher’s Union; but they’ll can the secretary to show how brave they are.

  • John

    So many people in these comments have no clue what you’re talking about. I can say that in Texas you don’t have to be a certified teacher in order to teach at charter schools. People who lose their certification for doing something wrong, can then go teach at a charter school. Texas also has guidelines for what public schools teach, it’s comparable to common core but it’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and most charter schools still base their instruction around this information, because charter schools still take the state tests.

    Teachers can teach in any setting, but it’s the students that make the difference. Low poverty schools both public and charter perform better. High poverty perform lower. Public vs charter has nothing to do with it, and research has shown this.

  • Jennifer Gligoric

    This is not the first of horrible behavior that includes physical and mental abuse of special needs students by teachers. Think it’s clear that we need a major change in how we’ve been doing things – and also frightening that electing people who want to change this (like B. Devos), want to stop these very things, have so many teachers going nuts before the woman even has started. I wonder if they are more afraid they won’t be able to get away with things like this anymore?

  • David Gregory

    Only in bizarro world could anyone believe these proven pedophiles should keep their jobs after this, you just got an inside look at what happens leading up to children being raped by their teachers.

  • GOD (@scourchedearth)

    If it’s good enough for norms, it’s good enough for special needs…It’s just a stupid game..Big deal!

    The sensitivials are so damn annoying…It’s just words…

    It is disgusting to see the stupidity level being increased by the hour…Who cares what someone says? Grow up…Too many people are acting like 6th graders. You should all be ashamed of yourselves allowing the news to talk down to you…tsk tsk tsk…

    • Lisa

      Whoa people! Enough bashing liberals. Can’t we just call it what it is? A Total difference of opinion. I’m way far to the left and think the video of these teachers discussing the minds of the children that they shape on a daily basis is appalling. To those of you making the point ” what would we hear if you were out drinking” or ” they are only human” I say that we need to hold our educators to a higher standard. They spend a majority of our children’s lives with them. If I heard any of my children’s teachers talking about my kids this way you’d better believe I’d do more than post a video of it.

      • Judi

        I agree with Lisa.. This has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. Liberals and Right Wingers would both be outraged by something like this. If it were my child or my grandchild and a teacher would say something like this, I would be going to the school board and if they didn’t do anything, I would be going to the State of MI and ask them what would you do if it were your child that was mentioned? I would not sit back and do nothing! The person who said why was someone videotaping this. Well, it was loud enough that it shocked what the person was hearing. If they had not recorded it and then went to the school and told the superintendent about it, then there would be those saying, do you have proof. Yeah, I definitely would have done more than post it on you tube. Why, if this happened in Jan, is it taking so long to come out. Now if they were talking about each other…ok they are all adults. But children??? Especially special needs children??? That is totally sick.

  • Andy Madden

    The secretary resigns (forced?) and we let the teachers stay. What kind of idiot goes along with that scenario. The teachers should be fired, immediately. If I had children in one of those teacher’s classes they would not go to school until the teacher was permanently removed. And now the superintendent needs to be removed also because he didn’t take appropriate action to fire the teachers. Let the heads roll.

  • Heartbroken sister

    This is very sad, but then again it does not surprise me coming from Bangor. I graduated from the adult education center 12 years ago. Pattie Waite was a teacher for the adult education center then. There were always problems then, with the disrespect for the students and the teachers. I could not wait to graduate and be done with that school. My brother died because the teachers did not do their job at that school as they should have in 2006, the year after I graduated. There was more behind the story as to what happened in the school between my brother and 3 other students that led them to jump him and beat him in the head with a baseball bat while walking home from work. The teachers could have prevented them from arguing at school but instead say back watched as if they didn’t care as threats and “promises” were exchanged between the boys about what was gonna happen for what the confrontation was over that day. These teachers have been doing things like this for years…I just thank the person who recorded it to reveal the filth that is teaching in our public schools. I believe that there should be harsher consequences than just slapping their hand and giving them a public shaming. How would you feel if it was your child they were talking about?

    • Paul M. Roe

      😦 May justice be served maybe not swiftly, but definitely with precision.
      I know the story of which you speak, you probably know me if not my name. That school, those teachers, and those three “Monsters” which committed that inhumane, unforgivable atrocity will live, or die with weight of regret of unfathomable magnitude.

  • Eric

    Bottom Line! Any place of business would fire you Instantly for talking trash about their costumers and/or place of business. These teachers are no different. This conversation took place out in a Very public building and Each and Everyone in this video laughing or contributing to the conversation in Any way should be fired Immediately!

  • J

    My kids teachers are are on their phone, not teaching. Need proof? I hope our public education system gets cleaned out thoroughly. Your tax $ miss being spent on more high-speed internet. Nice.

  • Judi

    I read nearly every comment on here. Now I would like to voice my opinion. This has nothing to do with politics. This was not about liberals or right wingers. There was nothing wrong in teachers getting together and letting their hair down. It was not even wrong if they wanted to play that game although I taught public school and went out with teachers on a Friday night and had never heard of that “game”. Where they were wrong was mentioning their students in the game. Minors…and special needs children. Someone said it was harmless and that they would not really do anything like that to those kids. So why mention it? It starts with a thought. Then it is spoken. It must have been in someone’s mind to say they would have sex with that student. They could have named someone around the table instead. But no they had to mention a child. Not in a caring way but a suggestive way. Someone mentioned about cops sitting around in a bar drinking and joking around but I have a lot of cop friends who would never say anything like this about a kid and if someone did..there would have been a fight. You say this person who recorded this was vindictive and wanted to get these teachers in trouble. I supposed this person followed them to the bar, sat in just the right location and recorded this for the fun of it. Most people know that it would be impossible to pick up what anyone was saying with a cell phone if the table had not been talking loud enough for other people to hear. So put yourself in a parent’s place. Would you have said oh it is just a silly game if you had heard your son or daughter mentioned? I don’t think so.

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