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Grafton elementary school teacher fired

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 12:11:09-04
Woodview Elementary School's music teacher Bob Maronde has been fired after four decades with the district, according Dr. Mel Lightner, Superintendent of Grafton Public Schools.

"The district has made this decision after an investigation into matters brought to the district’s attention," Lightner told TODAY'S TMJ4 Wednesday.

After conducting an interview between district officials and students and with Maronde, the district ultimately decided to terminate Maronde.

School officials declined to comment further about the nature of the investigation and reason for termination, citing personnel matters are excluded from public discussion and records.

However, Maronde told TODAY'S TM4 that the termination was based on disciplinary actions he (the teacher) took against a couple of fifth grade students who were being disruptive in class last week, he said.

Maronde said the the issue arose as 5th graders were preparing for a Spring show.

Maronde said he took disruptive boys to a storage room near the music stage.

“And I pushed the door closed . The door did close loud. There is a loose pane of glass in there," said Maronde.

After a few words, he and the boys returned. The next lesson had the group playing kazoos. Then there was more problem behavior, he said, noting that one child threatened another child's eye with a kazoo.

"So I very quickly reached down to the kazoo to pull it away. He let go. I didn’t have a very good grip and the kazoo went flying," said Maronde.

Maronde says the flying kazoo and the slamming door are what have cost him his job.  He was told he could quietly resign, but he's decided not to.

“If I resign, I’m quitting on them and you know, you teach your kids not to quit,  not to give up and so I didn’t," said Maronde.

Meanwhile, support is growing online, but it's not enough to take away the pain, he said.

"And as I found out yesterday, I’ll be coaching, well I lose my guys too, you know, that’s hard. We had plans," said Maronde.

Maronde was also a basketball coach at Grafton High School.

The 2007 and 2009 Grafton High School girls basketball teams were state champions and players say they owe it all to "Coach Bob."  He's had success coaching boys' teams as well.

"And then we went to sectional finals, one game away from state for the first time in like 16 years. It’s kinda sad to see someone like that let go," said Caleb Keshemberg, former Grafton basketball player.

Students say Maronde's impacted their lives on the court and off and don't believe he should have been fired.

“We really don’t think this is as serious as it’s being made out to be. We just feel like it’s an injustice and
he’s being wronged," said Connor Neeck, a Grafton High School senior.

Maonde's supporters plan attend a regularly scheduled school board meeting May 9 to stand in solidarity with "Coach Bob."