" Weber, a special education teacher at James Monroe, did not respond to those particular messages.The district accused her of fewer instances of misconduct than Van Pelt or Lechelt.The district has accused Van Pelt and Lechelt of unbecoming conduct for their alleged comments about special-needs students.

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23 chats, which took place when they were training to use new technology in a room at district offices.

State law requires school districts to continue paying teachers on suspension unless they're indicted, or unless their tenure charges are certified.

"The proposed penalty is grossly disproportionate to the alleged offense," Waldman said, "and is not in keeping with norms established in other cases involving similar allegations of misconduct." Waldman declined further comment.

Van Pelt and Weber, along with their attorneys, did not respond to requests for comment.

Apparently, unbeknownst to the teachers, anyone in the district — including students — could read transcripts of their insulting and innuendo-laden chats.

One fellow teacher, an apparent target of their barbs, did just that, and reported it to school administration.Another teacher involved in the chats, Jonathan Bauza, resigned rather than face disciplinary action, the district said.The chats took place in a program called Today's Meet, a free website geared toward teachers."poor man's anything is as good as its gonna get in edison," Lechelt responded.Later, Van Pelt allegedly said of the woman running the training: "i'd like to invite her to a private backchannel discussion...The tenure charges also accuse Van Pelt of conducting union activities during instructional time.