Sixty-year-old blind physical education teacher Steven Sloan was fired after a parent accused him of drinking on the premises.
According to The New York Post, the parent was setting up a party when she smelled alcohol on Sloan’s breath. Although the scent allegedly came from his alcohol-based mouthwash—which his colleagues claim he periodically did throughout the day—the school fired Sloan from his position.
Steven Sloan served as an inspirational figure for the children. He was born with macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss. Former principal Sandra Gittens tells The New York Post, “The students respected him. He cleared his throat — ahem — and everyone got into line. It was really amazing.”
— Jerry Doyle (@jerrydoyle) November 17, 2015
On October 30, 2014, the parent who smelled the alcohol on Sloan’s breath dug through his trash, looking to find a bottle of alcohol to validate her assumptions. She was able to find a Styrofoam cup containing a “brown liquid” which smelled of alcohol. The parent claims that while she never did see Sloan carrying the cup, she did believe he was drinking out of the cup.
Sloan denied the claim, explaining that the scent likely came from his Original Listerine and saying “I cherish my job. Ain’t nothing for me to do but to teach physical education and work with my children. So why, after 30 years, would I risk or jeopardize that?”
The Department of Education has charged Sloan for drinking on duty, in addition to sexual harassment chargers for asking a group of moms, “anybody want to go on a blind date?” while joking about his disability.
By August, Sloan agreed to retire, explaining,“I’d rather retire than have a bad record…“They didn’t even let me go back to my school and say goodbye. I just want to let everybody know I did my job diligently, with all my heart and soul.”
[via The New York Post]