HONESDALE—The Wayne Highlands School District (WHSD) Board of Directors passed a resolution Tuesday evening officially terminating the employment of former Spanish instructor, Gaspare Gambino.
Gambino was arrested in January on 14 counts of invasion of privacy for photographing female students in his classroom.
The incidents occurred and were discovered in September, prompting his immediate suspension with pay pending further investigation.
A WHSD press release issued after Tuesday's meeting states shortly after Gambino's arrest, “Mr. Gamino waived his right to a Loudermill Hearing and was suspended without pay on January 12, 2018.”
WHSD Assistant Superintendent Timothy Morgan noted such hearings are an integral part of the due process which must be administered or waived before the district can take punitive action.
According to the Public School Code section 5-514, “The board of school directors in any school district, except as herein otherwise provided, shall after due notice, giving the reasons therefor, and after hearing if demanded, have the right at any time to remove any of its officers, employes, or appointees for incompetency, intemperance, neglect of duty, violation of any of the school laws of this Commonwealth, or other improper conduct.”
Following an executive session on personnel at Tuesday's meeting, the school board passed a resolution by unanimous vote to remove Gambino from employment.
According to the resolution, “... the Administration has assembled substantial evidence ...” in support of charges that Gambino did the following:
• “Took inappropriate photographs of certain Honesdale High School female students without their knowledge or permission while serving as a member of the HHS faculty;”
• violated the WHSD Acceptable Use Policy and policies 340-Responsibility for Student Welfare, 317-Conduct/Disciplinary Procedures, and 317.1-Educator Misconduct;
• “Stole time from the Wayne Highlands School District by participating in non-work related and inappropriate personal activities during contractually obligated hours (8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.);
• violated Title 22-Pennsylvania Code of Professional Practice and Conduct for Educators.
Additionally, the resolution cites Gambino's bail conditions prohibiting his unsupervised contact with minors as further evidence for his termination.
“The District continues to take this matter seriously and will continue to fully cooperate with all investigative agencies,” states a release.