Falcon High School Teacher Suspended for Classroom Comments

We

Brian Rappatta's Facebook Profile Photo

First it was his Facebook page that shocked and angered students and parents.

Falcon High School teacher, Brian Rappatta reportedly told his German students that he writes sex books.

And indeed... anyone can check out his Facebook page. We did... finding he used it to showcase his work.

Senior Jessica Ellis told us, "He made an announcement to the class in the first week that he writes sexual books and it's just a little awkward ... why they let him in as a teacher."

Freshman Matthew Lauser said, "I think it's something you don't need to announce to a class, let alone teenagers... because it's just awkward to hear that from your teacher and then you honestly don't want to go to his class everyday."

Did he realize his writings would be considered questionable, given his line of work?

A comment we found on amazon.com says this: "I like to think my students and colleagues would be horrified if they read my books or stories."

Students tell me Rappatta made them feel so uncomfortable they wanted to transfer out of his class--not only because of his written work, but also because of comments he's accused of making in class.

Comments like: "If you don't be quiet, I'm going to freakin' kill somebody."

I'm told it's that kind of comment made last week and this week that led District 49 to put him on administrative leave. That means he'll be paid until an investigation's completed.

I was told District 49 does a criminal background check and fingerprints employees, but does not check their Facebook pages.

I called Rappatta and also left him a message on his Facebook page, but never heard back.

I'll be sure to let you know if he keeps his job.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by suesun Location: colorado springs on Oct 14, 2011 at 10:39 PM
    Well, I hope you are happy now that you have ruined a good man's career, just so you could get a story with "sex" in it..... Face it, you used a person just so you could get a sensationalist story. I highly doubt that the new German teacher at Falcon is funnier, smarter, or more knowledgeable than the one you took down with unfair reporting.
  • by Henry Location: CO on Aug 15, 2011 at 09:15 AM
    CO Springs is a conservative town and I can see how Brian's stories would not be taken well by the residents but they are certainly not 'sex stories'. They are horror and science fiction stories and parents should approve of what their children read but I have not seen anything that says he was encouraging his students to read his work. All balanced reporting on this has suggested that a student went to his Facebook page and brought the subject of his work up in class. If this is the case the student had to actively look into the life of the teacher. They have no valid basis for complaint when they are the investigating agent. This seems to be a case of a teacher, parents, students, and a high school being caught up in teenage politics. I can understand the students but everyone else should be beyond that now.
  • by suesun Location: colorado springs on Aug 14, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    As a friend and former colleague of Brian's, I feel the need to step up and say a few words. Brian Rappatta is one of the most talented, intelligent, funny, inspiring teachers I have ever met. He also happens to be a writer. Have any of you actually READ any of his stories? I have. Every single one. They are not "sexual books", as this report says, but like others have said here, they are science fiction/fantasy/horror. And many of them actually have a pretty profound MORAL to them! I even read one of his unpublished stories, and let my 12-year-old son read it as well, to give Brian some feedback on it. It was an amazing young adult sci fi story! (although my son did tell him that he needed to develop the setting more) :) Do some of his books have sex in them? Sure. So does the Bible. Remember David and Bathsheba? Does that one story element make the Bible a "sexual book"? This story is a sad, hurtful piece of "journalism", and now the district will have to spend more money-that it obviously doesn't have to spare-on the investigation. I can only hope that District 49 is even-handed and concerned about the finding out the Truth. My heart goes out to one of the best people I know, and my anger at this unfair, biased piece of reporting has turned me against KKTV for the rest of my life. You should be ashamed of yourselves.
  • by The Man Location: Colorado Springs on Aug 14, 2011 at 11:54 AM
    @Student, I bet your taking it way out of hand. Grow up buddy, because if you don't, college might be MUCH OUT OF HAND!!! @D49 Parent...Your as idiotic as your kids and most of the cry babies at the school. People like you should move!!! You have nothing to teach your kids and people wonder why America is the way it is. Uneducated like this parent...VERY NICE.. @El..Nice take!!! @K-rock...Again, we would not be having this conversation if it were a hot, young, sexy female teacher!!!
  • by K-rock Location: Colorado on Aug 14, 2011 at 06:34 AM
    Brian Rappatta is an award-winning sci-fi, dark fantasy, and horror author. I've edited some of his work and taught in the same program with him at a different school district. He's extremely intelligent, talented, and committed to teaching. He is an excellent writer, and I'd be proud to have him teach my own children. His sense of humor may come off as dark to some, but he is a gentle man. Imagine if Stephen King were teaching an English class, and he said weird things with a smirk: that's Brian. I don't know what Brian said in his classroom that day, but we have only a handful of teenaged witnesses and their report. As a teacher, I can attest that students will say lots of conflicting things. Some love you. Some hate you. Imagine if your career were in similar jeopardy. If anything, Brian deserves only a minor reprimand. If he is dismissed, I hope he sues for wrongful termination, if only to get his side of the story on record.
  • by El Location: Falcon on Aug 14, 2011 at 12:06 AM
    First of all, as a former FHS student and family member of a current one, I can say that this is really the least of their troubles. Saying "I will kill someone" is a statement of exasperation, and many are often said like it. It is not a threat to a specific person or student. Secondly, if he has never assaulted or harassed a student, then his conduct has not been contrary to the expectations of any of us. Anything posted on facebook is not the property of the school, and does not necessarily reflect your career. However, in this day and age when you have to be aware that anything online is available to everyone, it is ridiculous to think that a school district, unlike most employers, would not check facebook or other prominent sites like this. All in all, another failure of the district and the media. Shameful and embarrassing for us.
  • by D49 Parent Location: Falcon on Aug 13, 2011 at 09:03 PM
    Honestly, I don't care what this man does on his own time. However, he did two things wrong. Number one, and worst in my opinion, is that he threatened the students. That is absolutely unacceptable! Our kids need to feel safe in school to be able to learn. Telling the kids about his writings is something he should not have shared as well, but I really think that is secondary to his verbal threat. Hopefully, IF he comes back he'll have learned from this experience and doesn't do anything like either of these things again.
  • by Student Location: Falcon, CO on Aug 13, 2011 at 05:07 PM
    I find it somewhat ridiculous how some students will stand up and defend this man. As he may be a good teacher, is he really a good person for telling his HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS that he writes sexual novels, and threatens to kill them? As a sophomore at Falcon, I can honestly say, I hope this man does NOT return to our learning place. I'm as sexual as the next student, but this is taking it way out of hand
  • by Parent on Aug 13, 2011 at 04:18 PM
    If a student had made such indirect threats, they would have in the least been ticketed with a Class 3 misdemeanor for interference.
  • by Union Question on Aug 13, 2011 at 03:52 PM
    Can anyone tell me what would have happened if this teacher was tenured?
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