That settlement was approved at a regular meeting of the board of education on Tuesday night.
Reached Wednesday afternoon, Joseph Saporito, an attorney for the district, would only say the board "authorized the proper officers to execute the terms of the settlement agreement." Saporito said saying anything more would violate an agreement the board made to not comment further.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Garzella acknowledged in an email a settlement was reached, but said he was not at liberty to discuss the matter further.
The teacher, whom multiple district sources and sources close to the incident identified as Kelli Diaz, was accused by the student and his parents of unleashing an insult-ridden tirade. It's said she went off, while on camera, complaining to the student in class, it's day 13 and already I can't stand you. The teacher is also accused of asking the student if he had Tourette Syndrome.
The parents of the student, whose identity we are withholding, are not satisfied with the outcome of the district's internal investigation of the teacher. Cynthia Pollick, an attorney for the family, tells Eyewitness News she'll be taking appropriate action on their behalf.
The internal investigation that was expected to produce answers is shrouded in secrecy.
An attorney was hired a few months ago to examine the details of alleged teacher misconduct. The district initially pledged answers to questions about what happened, why and what the district's response would be. It now appears no conclusions will be made public.
When asked Wednesday about the cost of the teacher investigation by special counsel appointed by the board, Saporito refused to provide details. He also wouldn't estimate the length of time spent on probing the matter. He called inquiries made by Eyewitness News, "irrelevant."
District sources claim the punishment, while slightly above the parameters set forth in a federation of teachers' contract, amounted to a slap on the wrist. Efforts to reach Diaz and her attorney were unsuccessful. Shortly after Eyewitness News reported on the September teacher-on-student incident, Diaz drew the backing of the teachers' union. In a tersely written letter on official federation paper, a vice president assailed parents for their "inadequacies." The tone of the letter called for a united front against outside attacks.
School district critics question the clause in the teachers' contract that deals with disciplinary action. Bob Linskey, a member of the school board, called it a joke. Other board members have previously said the clause must be modified. The board and the Pittston Area Federation of Teachers is in the process of negotiating a contract.