Carroll ISD parents ask: Should personal moments affect your professional life?

Parents in Carroll ISD question whether personal moments should affect your professional life?

GRAPEVINE -- The recent announcement of the Carroll Independent School District's "Teacher of the Year" has some parents questioning the appropriateness of one recipient.

The case report from the Southlake Police Department outlines what was no doubt a tough moment.

On February 26, 2017, just before 1 a.m., officers made an arrest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Police say Megan Malnar was behind the wheel.

Malnar is a much loved teacher at Dawson Middle School in Carroll ISD. So much, in fact, that Monday she was named the school's "Teacher of the Year."

Parent Amy Smith has a problem with that.

"[I was] shocked that she was 'Teacher of the Year,'" said Smith.

Malnar taught Smith's daughter two years ago. She says she's bothered by the decision to celebrate her with this award.

"Such a personal decision of irresponsibility resulting in arrest, I would think, to continue on and still give that award really sends the wrong message to our kids," she said.

Carroll ISD feels differently, saying the incident happened off-campus, and Malnar was not performing in the course of her duties as a CISD employee.

They say "Teachers of the Year" are chosen by their peers, based on the job they do in the classroom, and that Malnar was selected before the situation occurred.

Malnar has no criminal record, and told WFAA in a statement Tuesday that, "I love teaching my students in Carroll ISD and don't ever want to do anything to place my school or my students in a negative light."

This story raises a lot of questions that we think some of you at home may have considered or faced yourself. Should someone be rewarded for so-called bad behavior? Do mistakes teach students about forgiveness? When should a personal moment affect someone's public, professional life?

We posed this question on our WFAA Facebook page, and you can read the discussion here.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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