HOUSTON - How do you teach a French class, if you don’t even speak French?
The I-Team discovered that’s exactly what is happening at the Houston Independent School District’s Energy Institute High School in the 1800 block of Sampson Street.
Sharonda White’s son Nathanial is a junior at the school.
"I thought it was a joke, I couldn't believe this was happening,” White said.
We asked her son about his classroom experience.
I-Team: “Does your teacher speak French?”
Nathanial White: “No sir.”
I-Team: “Have you ever heard him speak a word of French?”
Nathanial White: “Bonjour, but everybody knows that.”
The teacher, Albert Moyer, said in a brief phone interview that the extent of his French education was just one year in high school.
So why was he hired? To replace Jean Cius, a certified French teacher for more than 25 years.
“It makes me extremely mad,” Cius said. “I feel bad for the fact that the kids are not learning.”
Records show after a dispute in December, the school's principal removed Cius from campus.
But when he was later declared fit for duty, HISD did not give him back his old job, or any teaching job for that matter.
Cius was sent to another HISD campus, where he said he was assigned to monitor the halls.
“I feel so bad for the taxpayers because they're paying me for not doing anything at all,” he said.
However, Nathanial White's report card shows H-I-S-D is still using Cius as the teacher of record.
I-Team: “How can you be on the report card as giving a grade when you were never there?”
Cius: “Ha hah, that's the question. I'd like to know the answer to those questions.”
The I-Team wanted to know the answers too, but instead, HISD sent the following statement:
“HISD officials work diligently year-round to fill open teaching positions across the district with the best qualified applicants. It can often become a difficult task to find certified foreign language teachers, in the middle of the academic school year, to fill the needs of the district. Effective French teachers are especially hard to come by. However, the district continues its efforts to hire talented foreign language teachers to instruct HISD students. HISD strives to ensure all students have access to an education that will help ensure they are successful academically and ready to complete in a global economy.”
The I-Team tried to talk to Albert Moyer on camera, but the long-term substitute ducked back inside the school building.
As of press time, he is still teaching French.
I-Team: “If you have questions in French, does he have the answers?”
Nathanial White: “No, we've got to search it up on our own.”
Nathanial White: “Google.”
It was only after the I-Team started asking questions, that Energy Institute High School parents finally received a letter from the principal, telling them their child’s teacher is not highly qualified.