It's astonishing that Gundle allowed someone's 19-year old boyfriend on the trip and left the kids without a group announcement (he says he talked to each kid separately), reminding them about the gender tent rule and allowed kids to drive other kids back to Seattle (one without a seatbelt.)
And, once again, we have chaperones paying lip service to district policies on field trip. I'm beginning to think that the district should have a moratorium on field trips; there are real safety issues here.
I realize this is a personnel matter but if you compare what happened on the Garfield choir trip to this trip, I believe the latter is much worse. And yet Carol Burton was fired (and later reinstated.)
end of update
I had only vaguely heard about this issue but apparently an investigation happened and the results are in. From the My Northwest:
A Ballard High School teacher remains on the job, even after an investigation found he “abandoned” high school students on an overnight field trip with no one but one of the student’s 19-year-old boyfriend.I have not read the entire investigative report (it's in the newsstory) but this is not good. I find the justification for Mr. Gundle's actions weak. They are not justifications I would expect from a teacher who is in charge of the field trip and the safety of every student attending.
Why did he leave them? So he could attend a Seattle teacher’s union protest.
Even though the Seattle Public School District recommended Noam Gundle be fired for conduct that put these students “at great risk…,” Seattle Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland imposed just a 10-day unpaid suspension and he won’t explain why. Meanwhile, Gundle still has his job.
On June 18, 2015, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Dr. Brent C. Jones wrote to Gundle to explain that the recommendation from the district that “there is probable cause to terminate your employment as a teacher for abandoning students during a District sponsored overnight field trip.”
Gundle fought the recommendation with the help of his union representative, arguing the termination was too harsh. After meeting with Superintendent Nyland, Gundle successfully lobbied to avoid termination, instead earning just a 10-day suspension without pay. He was also told he couldn’t host overnight field trips for two years, nor day field trips for one year.