An administrative law judge backed a decision by the Lake County school principal to fire a teacher who posted what the judge described as “obscene and offensive material” on social media network TikTok.
Judge Robert Telfer III issued a 26-page order on Friday recommending that the Lake County Board of Education terminate the employment of Todd Erdman, who was a faculty member at Umatilla Middle School.
Lake County Superintendent Diane Kornegay informed Erdman in October 2019 that she planned to recommend the dismissal to the school board after an investigation into numerous TikTok videos in which Erdman made sexually explicit comments, according to Telfer’s ruling.
“During the summer of 2019, and before the start of the school year in August 2019, Mr. Erdman created videos with his smartphone using TikTok. He testified that he created videos with children’s songs and films to entertain his children during the summer vacation. And, he testified that he created videos with Mrs. Erdman, his wife, that were more sexual or adult in nature, and that he created some of those videos in the couple’s master bedroom and bathroom ” , indicates judgment.
Students and parents began reporting the videos to administration on September 5, 2019.
According to the document, Erdman’s lip synced to audio of a sexual nature in TikTok posts.
Erdman appealed Kornegay’s decision to the state’s Administrative Hearings Division and said, in part, that he set his TikTok account to “private” so that the videos are not shared and that someone. ‘one had stolen his cell phone and hacked his account.
But Telfair concluded that “Erdman’s explanation is not credible” and that he broke a series of rules.
“Also, the TikTok videos… eventually made their way into the public sphere, and students, parents, and school district staff watched and learned about them,” he said. the judge wrote.