By CRAIG A. WHITNEY July 31, 2008
A hearing officer has ruled in favor of Fox River Grove School District 3 against a former Algonquin Middle School teacher.
The district fired David Warwak, a tenured teacher who had taught eight years in the district, last fall after he was first suspended in early September. District officials charged Warwak with teaching students about following a vegan lifestyle instead of teaching art. Vegans avoid using animal products of any kind.
Warwak said the decision on his appeal was made about one to two weeks ago.
"I'm disappointed, but not surprised, in the decision," Warwak said. "I'm definitely not finished with Fox River Grove."
In an e-mail statement to the press, Warwak said his lawyers will be filing charges against (Board of Education President) Pat Hughes and the entire Fox River Grove School District 3 Board of Education for the content of a Sept. 24 2007 press release.
"They said I stopped teaching art," Warwak said. "I proved I didn't stop teaching art. They smeared my name. They have to be responsible for their actions and words.
"This is going to be a lifelong pursuit," he said. "It's too serious of an issue to ignore just because people don't want to talk about it."
Fox River Grove School District 3 Superintendent Tim Mahaffy confirmed the hearing officer upheld Warwak's termination, but declined to comment further on the matter.
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