2005_12_anguard.jpgIt sounds bad enough that a teacher is lying to get out of teaching, but it sounds worse when the teacher uses "helping out Hurricane Katrina victims" as the excuse. James R. Thomas, who was a special education teacher at a Bronx public high school, admitted he falsely claimed the Air National Guard needed him, when in fact Thomas was going to Brazil. Thomas forged Air National Guard military orders saying he needed to help out with Hurricane Katrina relief. Thomas, who is also a pastor, had been able to secure leave for ANG purposes easily, but this past fall, the school asked for paperwork. We wonder if it's because of a Department of Education crackdown on teacher leave - remember the teacher who was a wrestler by night and claimed he was sick in order to work the wrestling circuit? The DoE must really vet sick leave!

The Department of Education will probably fire Thomas, but the teaches' union wonders if it's too harsh a punishment. He has already retired from the Air National Guard.