Citizens decry firing of high school teacher 


Several local residents continued criticism of the Chesterfield County Public Schools Board during their Oct. 12 meeting.

In addition to general criticism about a mask mandate for teachers and students, Anne Taydus called the board to task for the firing of Monacan High School government teacher Stephen Roszel. “You squashed him,” she said. 

In addition, Taydus said that three school board members are “up for removal,” but she didn’t elaborate other than to say it’s not being covered in the media. Another media outlet reported that she was circulating a recall petition. 

Roszel also addressed the board during public comment. 

“I’m a career switcher. This was a dream job to teach [Advanced Placement] government,” he said. “I’m making this decision knowing the consequences. I’m not just losing my job, most of my family members are against me,” he said. 

Roszel said he taught at Robious Middle School last year. 

“I chose to get fully vaccinated,” he said, adding it was voluntary. “I will wear a mask if I voluntarily choose to do so. I will neither comply with a mandate, nor impose mandates on my students as some kind of enforcer. It is immoral.” 

Roszel encouraged his students to “exercise your First Amendment rights and hold your elected leaders accountable. It’s called ‘consent of the governed.’” 

He also referred to Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” about the validity of disobeying unjust laws. 

“My conscience tells me this mandate is wrong,” Roszel said. “In this termination process, no scientific data was used in the mask mandate recommendations.” He said that Deputy Superintendent Thomas Taylor did not use any scientific data in recommending the mask mandate, which the board approved on Aug. 10. 

Roszel said that Taylor noted that the county is getting $51 million in federal funds to comply with Centers for Disease Control guidelines. 

Roszel’s name was not included in the list of terminations in that evening’s consent agenda, although it’s possible that it will be part of one in the future. 

Falling Creek Elementary to get mega trailer

The board voted 5-0 to move one 10-classroom mega trailer to Falling Creek Elementary. 

Staff said the process would begin in November and be complete by Jan. 10.

Five of six trailers were repurposed for use at A.M. Davis Elementary and for a virtual academy after being used at Reams Elementary during the last school year. 

Relocating a mega trailer to Falling Creek Elementary will allow for the removal of most of the 14 regular modular trailers from the school. 

The cost is $1.49 million, including engineering, building relocation and setup, permit fees, utilities and a two-year lease. 

“The Falling Creek Elementary community will be very grateful to have the mega trailer. They are much, much nicer,” Dale District Board Member Debbie Bailey said. 

The request now goes to the county supervisors to approve the transfer and use of funds from projects at Harrowgate, Matoaca, and Crestwood elementary schools to pay for the Falling Creek mega trailer. 



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