Teacher accused of making negative comments about Trump reaches settlement, retires

By Kim Leoffler, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, February 04, 2018, 5:42 PM EST

A Citrus County teacher accused of making negative comments about President Trump supporters in the classroom will not be disciplined by the school district.

That's because he struck a deal to retire, no matter the outcome of the investigation.

Crystal River High School U.S. Government teacher Andreas Zybell was pulled from the classroom in late October. He's accused of making inappropriate comments about supporters of the president, calling them hillbillies and white trash.

Jason Bucy said his daughter told him about the comments and he immediately contacted the district.

"I don't agree with the teachers these days that have decided to indoctrinate our children into their ideology," Bucy explained.

A district investigation was launched shortly after Bucy contacted the district in late October. The results were obtained by our partners at the Citrus County Chronicle.

It includes dozens of student accounts of Zybell speaking negatively about Trump and making inappropriate comments about African-American students.

During student interviews, the district indicated in the investigation’s report that students “expressed Mr. Zybell was a good teacher and they enjoyed his class. However, it was consistent that Mr. Zybell conveyed his opinion too much, was biased in reference to President Trump, and would continually speak negative of the president.”

Even though the school board has determined there was probable cause to move forward, because of Zybell's settlement agreement,  there will be no further disciplinary action at the district level.
            
That agreement also does not allow Zybell to talk directly to news agencies.

But, during in the district’s investigation report, he did say quote, "I respectfully submit that my teaching has always been passionate real and designed to convey the course material so that it will be learned and most importantly remembered by the students."

"This investigation has had a chilling effect on many other teachers who have now begun to second guess their teaching techniques and assignments for fear that they will be next to account for their actions."

Bucy said he hopes this case is a lesson for teachers that parents are watching.

"I think teachers need to understand you're under scrutiny and you're being watched. Especially when you're teaching government you teach how the system works not your opinion," Bucy said.

This does not mean that the case is over though. Even though the Citrus County School District will not issue any disciplinary action, the investigation has now been turned over to the Office of Professional Practices Services.