RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – If your college instructor canceled classes to job hunt, you'd probably tell the dean. One student at John Tyler Community College did. Now, he's barred from campus and under investigation.
John Tyler's president confirmed the instructor canceled four, four hour classes. That's 16 hours Todd Lacy says he could have used to teach himself to weld, if he had access to the equipment. Lacy showed me a text message the instructor allegedly sent students informing them he was canceling classes to meet his job search requirements:
Todd Lacy says his instructor sent 2 messages canceling the last 2 weeks of class. The 2nd text is saved on his phone.
"'No welding class this week, my job search requirement will keep me away. Final is Tues May 3rd. Show up to pass.' Not how I wanted to end this," Lacy said.
The 39-year-old husband and father may be the only one of 16 students demanding reimbursement - $855 from John Tyler Community College for the cost of the class and books.
"Many of the students were younger than I. They were kind of happy with how it turned out. I'm not a smart man, but I know what show up to pass means. I didn't just want to pass. I wanted to learn to weld," he said.
Lacy got an appointment to tell the dean his story and was soon escorted out of her office by campus security.
"She apologized but I just wanted her to say I'm going to check into it," Lacy said. "I just sat there. I told her, now I'm going to have to apologize because I'm not moving my butt until I get some satisfaction."
Security walked him out and while walking across campus, he met another student willing to verify his complaint. Lacy and that student returned to the dean's office and like the first time, the door was open. They walked in and Lacy closed it. This time though the dean had 2 students confronting her in a small locked space.
Lacy was thrown off campus and charged with disruptive and threatening behavior. I sat down with John Tyler's President Dr. Marshall Smith. We talked about the security concern.
Diane Walker: "Does the college consider him a threat?"
Dr. Marshall Smith: "A threat? The college has a process in place to consider student actions. That evaluation will be made."
And, Lacy's allegation that his instructor job searched during class time.
Diane Walker: "Is it appropriate for an instructor to cancel class to job search?"
Dr. Marshall Smith: "Well, we will have to look into that matter. Our adjuncts work on a semester to semester contract. They're expected to do certain things in that contract and if not then we're going to have to deal with it on a case by case basis."
"They threw me off campus and treated me like a criminal," Lacy said. "I wasn't looking for a physical confrontation."
Lacy says he was looking to get his money back for the missed classes and it appears John Tyler is close to doing that. I was told a resolution is in progress and Lacy has filed the forms for a refund. Allegations against the instructor are now a personnel matter, not up for discussion.