Petition Closed

Reinstate one of America’s greatest teachers

This petition had 1,953 supporters


Rafe Esquith is known as the most famous grade school teacher in the world. He is the only K-12 teacher to ever receive the National Medal of the Arts, Queen Elizabeth made him a member of the British Empire, and the Dalai Lama has bestowed the Compassion in Action award on him. Last March, a fellow teacher misunderstood a joke Mr. Esquith had made while reading with his students. Without asking for clarification, the teacher went to the principal and filed a complaint.

Since then, he has been barred from teaching, waiting for the LA school district (LAUSD) to finish an investigation. No student has come forward to claim abuse, no parent has lodged a complaint, but a simple misunderstanding and an overzealous school district could put an end to the career of one of America’s best educational resources.

Instead of an unwarranted suspension and frivolous investigation, the LAUSD should be celebrating the decades' worth of accomplishments and renown Mr. Esquith has brought to his school. The accusations have already been deemed without merit by the California Commission on Teacher Credentials and, according to the Washington Post, even the teacher who first lodged the complaint has asked the district to drop its senseless witch hunt.

I've been a fan of Mr. Esquith's work for years, since I first saw one of the documentaries made about his extraordinary teaching and famous classroom, called "The Hobart Shakespeareans." He is the dream teacher we all wish we'd had -- inspiring generations of students (who constantly come back to him for advice about high school and college choices) to excel, to dream big, to achieve their goals in life.  

Every year, Mr. Esquith and his students take a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, this year the school district said it the trip won’t take place. With your help we can convince LASD to reinstate Mr. Esquith and this years students will get the trip they were promised.

There are no winners here. Mr. Esquith could lose his job, the school could lose an incredible teacher and most of all, his students, both past and present, could lose an amazing mentor and one of their biggest advocates. All for a misunderstanding that, to all parties except the district, seems to be resolved.

Please join me in protesting this unfair and unfounded investigation by the LA Unified School District, on behalf of an amazing teacher and the kids he serves so nobly.  

Thank you!

Alx Uttermann



Today: Alx is counting on you

Alx Uttermann needs your help with “LA Unified School District & Superintendent Ramon C. Cortines: Immediately restore world-renowned teacher Rafe Esquith to the classroom with honor, as he deserves.”. Join Alx and 1,952 supporters today.