A teacher in Pennsylvania said he got in trouble for making whole-grain pancakes for his eighth-grade students on an electric griddle while they were taking a standardized test.

The teacher is Kyle Byler, 38, who told LancasterOnline he was suspended without pay on April 10 when an assistant principal stopped his classroom while students were taking the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment.

Byler, who teaches social studies at Hand Middle School in Lancaster, Pa., said he was told by school officials that he would be fired because he had caused a distraction for students and was supposed to be devoting his full attention to proctoring the test. However, the School District of Lancaster issued a statement saying he would not lose his job.

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The school district’s website has this note on its homepage:

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District Response to News Report on PSSA Testing

There is an inaccurate news report that the School Board is scheduled to take action tonight to dismiss a teacher. That is wrong. There was never any dismissal action on the Board’s agenda. In any event, no teacher can be dismissed without the School Board first approving a written notice that offers the opportunity for a School Board hearing, and that step has also not occurred. Nor will it occur in this situation, as the personnel matter has been resolved with the employee, who is scheduled to return to work.

Regarding the incident addressed in the news report, the School District provides a free breakfast and lunch for all students every day, including PSSA testing days.  Moreover, the Pennsylvania Department of Education strictly requires that teachers who proctor PSSA testing focus their full attention on monitoring students during the test.  All teachers serving as PSSA test proctors receive specific training on testing protocol.  Had permission been sought by a teacher to cook in the classroom during PSSA testing and serve food to the students, the response would have been that such activities would distract the teacher from the required duties as a test proctor.  PDE [Pennsylvania Department of  Education] has requested information about this incident for its review.

We acknowledge, appreciate and support the many SDoL educators who go above and beyond to meet the needs of our students every day, and we thank the community for advocating on behalf of our students.

Lancaster Online quoted Byler as saying:  “I don’t understand what I did wrong, to be honest with you. There was no infraction whatsoever. At no point was it any distraction for any of the students. They worked their butts off.”

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