Loughner's teacher dropped: Pima now cites "misunderstanding"
Reporter: Forrest Carr
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The job prospects for Jared Lee Loughner's former math teacher may have just taken a turn for the better. The college now says McGahee's exclusion from class rolls for the rest of this year is due, in part, to a misunderstanding.
After receiving information over the weekend that the college administration had told McGahee he was done, 9 On Your Side contacted Pima College Monday for confirmation. The college confirmed that McGahee had been offered no classes for the rest of 2011. Its explanation for that evolved a bit over the course of the day. The college's final statement Monday evening was that these decisions are made at the campus level, not at the central office, and that while McGahee had not been assigned a Summer or Fall class, he was still eligible for Fall employment and could potentially still land a Fall class assignment.
KGUN9 then pointed out that the statement conflicted with information that KGUN9 News had received, and suggested that the college investigate more closely to determine what McGahee was told directly about his prospects for employment with the college. Late Tuesday afternoon, marketing director Rachelle Howell sent KGUN9 News this statement:
"We did some additional research today and were able to ascertain that while Mr. McGahee remains in the College's pool of eligible adjunct instructors, he has not yet been offered a teaching assignment at Northwest Campus due to a misunderstanding regarding the classes he preferred to teach in the fall. Administration has been assured that he likely will be offered a teaching assignment for the fall."
As KGUN9 News has reported, much of what the public initially learned about mass shooter Jared Lee Loughner's bizarre and disruptive behavior in class came from McGahee, who was the only one of Loughner's instructors to violate a campus-wide ban on media interviews and provide that information to the public.
In her statement yesterday, Howell denied that the college had fired McGahee. She did not explain specifically why McGahee's teaching contract had not been renewed for the summer term, but did point out that teaching opportunities for adjuncts fluctuate with student enrollment.
KGUN9 News will keep viewers and readers posted.
An update to this story is available here.