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Letting a Teacher Teach

After 5 years away from the classroom, Peggy Ann Buckey, a former defendant in the controversial and drawn-out McMartin Pre-School molestation case, returned to her teaching job last Wednesday in the Anaheim Union High School District.

Regrettably, her return was greeted by some demonstrators who picketed to protest her presence, declaring their outrage that Buckey has been allowed to resume her duties teaching handicapped students with learning and communication disorders.

To its credit, the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Assn. was also present to support her return and “protest the protesters.” Buckey, who has a master’s degree in special education and taught in the district before her indictment, was arrested in 1984--but all charges against her were dropped in 1986. After a thorough 3-month hearing, an administrative law judge last November said there was no reason to keep her out of the classroom. He recommended approval of her teaching credential, which was reinstated in January by the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Buckey is neither facing charges nor has she been convicted of any crime. She is a qualified teacher holding a valid state credential. Justice and fair play dictate that she be allowed to pursue her profession without further harassment.

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