Student Starts Petition To Get Job Back For Westerville Teacher’s Aide Seen In Picture With Student Raising Middle Finger

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A Westerville City School study-hall monitor, who resigned after appearing in what school officials called an inappropriate picture, is now getting support from some of her students.

Two photos, taken of Patricia Hall and an unidentified female student, were brought to the district’s attention.  

In one, Hall and the student pose close to each other, smiling at the camera. In the other, the two are in the same pose but each has a middle finger raised.

The students say the picture was taken on the last day of school.
"(It was) kind of like a goodbye picture and it was with one of our friends," said Noah Zwilling, an eighth-grader at Genoa Middle School, where the pictures were taken.

The school district says the picture is inappropriate, but some students say the incident is forgivable.

"We're not trying to hide that she committed that, but we don't feel the punishment she was given is necessary," said eighth-grader Garrison Plunkett

Plunkett is so upset that Hall resigned that he started an online petition to get her job back.

"She loves her job and she wants to keep her job, and we would like to give her that opportunity,” said Plunkett

Westerville City Schools officials said Hall had worked at Genoa Middle School since 2012.

Prior to that, she worked at Walnut Springs Middle School, also in the district.

10TV obtained Hall’s personnel file, which revealed she had been in trouble for inappropriate behavior before

District records show Hall was suspended for two days in 2009 after a loud argument with a lunch monitor.

Records say they argued in front of students and sparked disruption as well as concern and rumors among staff and students.

Those district records also show Hall was warned: “Anymore inappropriate behavior would result in increased disciplinary action"

When a human resources director confronted Hall about the photo, the district says Hall resigned on the spot.

Students say they believe she may have felt she had no choice, and now they want to fight to give her one.

"We're not going to be there with Ms. Hall anymore, she was such a good friend that we really care about her future,” said Plunkett.

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May 29, 2013: Westerville Schools Employee Resigns After Taking Picture With Student With Middle Finger Raised