Students Rally to Get Mayo Teacher Back in Classroom

Created: 05/13/2014 10:56 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Students take to social media with hopes of bringing a beloved teacher back to work. Mayo High School students in Rochester are petitioning to bring their English teacher back after they say he was suspended for swearing in class.

We talked with a few students heading the effort, who say the punishment is too harsh.

"He really cares about his students and he goes out of his way to make sure that his students are succeeding,” said Amber Armstrong, a senior at Mayo High School.

Armstrong, is talking about Jon Thorson, a speech and English teacher students say was suspended last week after saying the f-word in class.

"They said he wasn't even directly talking to the class, he was just saying, he was frustrated because of how some of the students weren't done with their work,” said Ben Viggiano, student at Mayo High School.

"It's just crazy how many people especially in our school who want to get involved and want to help out,” said Armstrong.

Students have now taken to Twitter, using #FreeThorson to try and get him back in class. Some calling the situation ridiculous and others saying he's the best teacher they've had. They've also started a Facebook page that received more than 400 likes in just two hours.

"We don't want to tell the administration how to do their job, but we just, we've heard teachers swear before,” said Viggiano. Which some say has prompted rumors of whether there is more to the supposed suspension. We reached out to Mr. Thorson, the school district and the teachers union. None will comment on the situation, calling it a “personnel issue.”

"We understand if we, if our efforts like aren't going to make a change in the situation, but we just want to show that this is a guy that has the support of like the entire school,” said Viggiano.

These Mayo High School Seniors also created a petition. They say in just one day more than 1,000 Mayo Students signed in support of Mr. Thorson.

"We're just trying to make an impact as much as we can. We know that we're just teenagers in high school, but we're really trying to get our voice across,” said Armstrong.

The students say they plan to take the petition to the district. Many also plan to attend next week’s school board meeting to show their support for the teacher.