Escondido, CA

Popular teacher wants to move on after firing

A pensive Darwin Bree contemplating his future without teaching. He recently contacted the YMCA and is exploring other options.

Darwin Bree says he has lost 20 pounds since he heard the news, which was sent in the form of an impersonal letter. “It’s like a knife in my heart,” he says. The letter from the high school district informed him that he had been let go from his substitute teaching job with Orange Glen High School, where he has taught since 1966.  The reason given was “poor classroom management.”

“Based on an established pattern of poor classroom management, we are not able to have you substitute at any of our school sites. Poor classroom management has a negative impact on students, and creates a learning environmental that is not safe nor secure,” said the letter from the Escondido Union High School District continued to the 50 year veteran of classroom management. 

There was no warning, no meeting, no face to face. Just a firing.  And the ultimate irony: “I got this letter during Teacher Appreciation Week,” says Bree.  Nevertheless, the veteran instructor is not going to fight the firing,  but instead wants to get on with his life and find another job where he can work with his favorite age group: teenagers.

But it would be nice, he says in his soft voice, if they would remove that unfortunate termination from his record. It would make it easier to go forward and, he feels, it wouldn’t be quite such an offhand dismissal of his 50 years of teaching.  

It’s remarkable that a man who recently turned 81 would want to continue on with a career; instead of enjoying a well-earned retirement. But that’s Darwin Bree, who has cherished every moment he has spent with students over those five decades.

Bree, whom we profiled last year on the occasion of his teaching for 50 years at Orange Glen High School, was something of a milestone for this paper in that we have never before received such a volume of positive comments about an individual.  The great majority of the comments were from former students. 

One such email, completely unsolicited, was received last week when a former student wrote: “Mr. Bree was the best HS teacher I ever had. He might even be the best teacher I ever had period.”

Although his firing has not been formally announced (this newspaper article is the first time it has been made public) several dozens of his former students and friends from all over the United States have heard about it in the grapevine and reached out to him by phone or letter.  Many have sent letters or emails on his behalf to the administration of the high school district.

One wrote: “ ‘One of the key elements of the District Belief Statement reads as follows: II. Provide a highly skilled, caring, a committed staff that collaborates to positively support and affect instruction and learning.’ Mr. Bree is all that and more. Ask any of the countless members of our community that were fortunate enough to have had him as their teacher and you will find the utmost admiration and respect for him not only as an educator but as a person.”

Another former student, one who was bullied as a youth, wrote: “Mr. Bree was my teacher for four years. He was an inspiration to me and my classmates. I had a bad home life and was bullied at school. Mr. Bree’s door was always open and he always had a listening ear.” The man later forgave the bullies on a TV show called “I Forgive You.” He wrote, “I was asked if there was anyone I turned to for help. I said, ‘Mr. Bree was always there for me.’ ”

One of Bree’s students, a man who joined the U.S. Army in 1987 and whose aviation unit was depicted in the film “Blackhawk Down,” wrote a four page letter to the school administration in which he admonished: “The Escondido Union High School District I grew up in would never have allowed the termination of employment of someone like Mr. Bree, without due cause, or without allowing him the opportunity to rebut. . . My hope is that you will champion getting to the bottom of what happened and rectify it.”

Another wrote, “I believe that this has come as quite a blow to Mr. Bree both personally and professionally. After many decades of devoted service to the students of Orange Glen High School, he deserves better. He was not even afforded the courtesy of a personal notice. His notice was sent by mail. This has to be one of the most insensitive and insulting communications I’ve ever heard of by an organization with such a lofty belief statement.”

Another wrote: “I have known John [sic] Bree for more than 30 years and he is an honorable, trustworthy, hardworking teacher for more than 51 years. He said he was fired from teacher after all those years for not being able to control the class room. REALLY? Do you think anyone would believe that outrageous excuse?”

A former student who is an attorney offered to help him. The attorney obtained his personnel file—which Bree himself doesn’t have the heart to look at right now: “It would kill me to look at it,”—and told him: “I can’t help you  because you are at an at will employee, and not a contract employee.”  That means he is not protected by union membership. 

Fellow teachers haven’t been particularly supportive. Only two of the 80 teachers who worked with him at OGHS have called to commiserate. 

Bree has his own theory why he was fired. He notes that any such firing would have to originate or at least be approved by the principal, who has been at OGHS for two years. “She doesn’t know me,” he says.

Bree recently celebrated his 50th year as a teacher at Orange Glen. His career included many years as a contracted teacher, followed by decades as a substitute. No one at the school took notice of that special anniversary.  Bree remembers telling a member of the administration, “It’s customary to celebrate a 50 year anniversary” but no one ever took the hint. Over the years some of his colleagues have, rather rudely, suggested that he is “not a real teacher anyway,” because he is a substitute. 

If Bree had his druthers, the “termination” part would be expunged from his record. “I don’t want to be fired,” he says. “I don’t want that on my record. We all go through trying times but I never expected this.” When he first saw the letter, he felt “so totally lonesome.”

He has to be in the right mood to take phone calls from well-wishers. “I just can’t let it go yet. I would like to quit on my terms because I don’t think I’m finished yet.”

But whether he finds some new job teaching, or something like that, or simply working with teenagers, “I will know when it’s time to quit.”

70 responses to “Popular teacher wants to move on after firing”

  1. Jennifer Palmer says:

    I am so disheartened by this! Escondido is continuing to live down to its reputation for being a lousy place to send your kids to school, not to mention the way OGHS is rumored to be going downhill fast at the lack of leadership in its administration. I’m a proud OG alumnus, Mr. Bree was my teacher for three years and I became a better person because of him. He is a kind, wise and remarkable man and I am proud to be his student. He even came to my college graduation and celebrated with my family and friends. I am appalled at this news and Orange Glen High School has made another huge mistake.

    • Elmer Alvarado says:

      When things seemed tough, he helped us be ok. I’m a sales rep at pep boys. I believe I learned to be genuine because he was genuine.

    • Johnny Guerrero says:

      My freshman year was pretty tough, I didn’t know Mr bree at all but until he subbed for one of my classes, the class was pretty calm there was no disturbs nor a big mess at all the class was good, and I noticed Mr Bree reading the paper of the instructions, he told us and I respected that, we did what we all needed to finish and so than we all gathered up to hear a story from Mr Bree when he was a teacher, he said ” One time me and my students were talking about what colleges were good to go to, and a student ask (can I go to Europe and go to college there? ) I said yes we can go anywhere in this world… So I went home to my wife and I told her I wanted to raise money to take a trip to Europe.. So I told my students that we were taking a trip over there and they were pretty excited.. Other teacher had doubt we ever raise money for that they said (Bree you wouldn’t be able to do that and raise this much money) but it didn’t stopped me from doing this and we did it, I told my students to get ready because we are going on a trip.. So I took my students there and it was very interesting learning about their culture and we were able to go to 4 cities in Europe ” Honestly the most inspirational story cause others didn’t believe in him but yet got these students to experience the outer world instead of just having to go somewhere here in the United States he wanted these kid to have more impact to the world to not hold back and go learn different things, and in my thoughts I was like “you guys really did that!!? ” and he said yes and with a smile proud of his accomplishment! Like honestly bree is a good person, he has a very kind heart, he always cares about others and has hella respect from all us students, and it hurts that he’s been fired with no good purpose like they for sure have no evidence that he did something bad because out of all these 50 years he would’ve gotten a complaint of this but never did so why would he get It now ! its pretty Dumb honestly, The Escondido Union High School District should be ashame of doing this because all he’s done for the school was more than any other teacher can ever do, because other teachers would usually retire on the quicks but nah Bree wants to keep teaching and giving us teenagers hope in believing that we can make it! I Thank Bree for all he’s done honestly Like he didn’t have to sub at all but he wanted to he would give his time just to teach students! I’m grateful to have a great person like bree! Other teachers are B*tch*s (sorry for the bad word) but yeah I couldn’t take my final and just for checking the date I got kicked out of class! But when it comes to Mr bree everything is very chilling, because theres No teacher being strict and yelling, forcing me to do my work, just a relaxing class with little silence, because Mr Bree respected students by letting them finish their work!

  2. Mike Null says:

    Could this administration be any more clueless? Why would you do this to someone who has done so much for your school. This is a cold and heartless move on a man that has the nicest, biggest heart you could find.

  3. Oscar Saenz says:

    This is absolutely infuriating news. This man has positively impacted many lives. The district has made an error in judgement. Darwin Bree deserves respect and honor.

  4. Selena says:

    Poor Mr. Bree! Not even a warning! I am honored that I was able to have have him as a sub on many occasions. His stories were inspiring and encouraging. He always had a smile and loved being involved. That is sad that substitutes are not considered teachers. He taught us more than any other teacher their! Shame on O.G for this low blow. They couldn’t even praise him on his 50th anniversary of teaching. O.G staff need to take lessons from him and be kind, be patient and be involved!! Mr. Bree, I wish you the best on your next chapter. And for O.G, shame on you.

  5. April Branch says:

    I teach at Orange Glen and this is the first I’m hearing of this. I am disgusted with our district. We should be celebrating Mr. Bree and all he has done for our students. Please update to include that at least three OG teachers stand with Mr. Bree!

  6. Ellen Anderson says:

    This was a terrible way to send him off. Tacky and classless … exactly the opposite of the way we hope our kids will act. Shame on the school district for doing it like this. Wishing him the best moving forward.

    • Michael Sykes says:

      Dear Administrative Staff, How can this be true? To fire such and impressive Educator, Gentlemen and a true real human, totally dedicated to his students and fellow teachers, having given over 50 years of his soul to what he believes in, and you folks sent him a “Your Fired Letter”, really???
      I owe Mr. Bree more than words can describe how thankful I am for his teaching and that he was always there for me when I needed to talk. He had this inner sense that he knew what was going on in our minds in the 70’s. This Administrative Staff has done a terrible injustice and you owe him an honest apology. I am quite sure you would not want to be on the receiving end of a cheep “You are Fired” letter your self.

  7. Shannen Fogerty Ebert says:

    Dear Orange Glen,
    I am ashamed of you! Darwin Bree is a staple at your school. He was my father’s teacher and tennis coach. He was also my favorite teacher and peer counseling advisor. He is a kind, generous and amazing teacher. Anyone who had him always said wonderful things about him. I can’t imagine why you would dismiss someone who has been at your school and in your community for so many years. I am saddened by this story. I will always be proud to have been Mr. Bree’s student.

  8. McKenna says:

    Totally agree that it’s terrible Mr. Bree was fired, but there is a slight inaccuracy. The current principal may only have been the principal for the past two years, but she’s been there since before I graduated in 2013. So she would know who he is.

  9. Nichole McGinnis says:

    I am saddened by the lack of professional courtesy. I too was a student at OGHS and took psychology with Mr.Bree. It was a privilege to be in his class and presence. His kindness made you feel important and loved, and to see him treated with such disregard disgusts me. I am a high school teacher and can see the potential frustrations of both sides, but this man earned the respect and honor of a conversation prior to such action. I Hope Mr. Bree is vindicated. Thank you Mr.Bree for your 50 years of education!

  10. Denise Correa says:

    In shock seeing this!! Mr. Bree… out of all the teachers and staff on that campus?! Ridiculous!! I myself had the honor of having him as a teacher for my 4 years! His class was always a class I was always excited to attend because he would make learning fun!! They should focus on removing all the perverted teachers they have on campus or the security who lets kids get away with things whenever they feel like. Mr. Bree doesn’t deserve this!!

  11. Lluvia says:

    I was honored to have met Mr. Bree as a substitute teacher. When I met him, he was always well prepared to teach the lesson because he would contact the teacher before hand and spend all night planning for it. Once he read the entire book that we were reading just so he could teach it the next day. It’s a shame that they did that to him.

  12. Andre Moore says:

    I particularly didn’t enjoy talking abiut my personal problems with anyone, but I found one of the hardest ones to talk about to Mr. Bre. I have and still would have continued throughout my life to say I do not cry, I can’t cry, etc. However this news actually has me all torn up, I have began to cry again. This man has held a close place in my heart, and I feel a deep divide in my trust for the EUHSD.

  13. Violeta De La Torre says:

    Me. Bree was a phenomenal teacher he inspired many of us students to be greater in life. A true intellectual at its finest.

  14. Alicia Smith says:

    Absolutely disgusting and heartbreaking. I was a student of Mr Bree from 95-97. He’s the best teacher I’ve ever had. He’s so kind, and selfless. The district should be ASHAMED of this. He should be thanked for what he’s done for the district, not treated in such a disrespectful manner.

  15. J. Rosas says:

    Can’t believe this Mr. Bree has such a big heart and loved his students. He was the type of teacher that you could confide in. Everyone knew Mr. Bree and loved him I don’t think anyone could say any bad thing about him.

  16. Luna Nilo says:

    Mr. Bree was the best teacher I ever had. He taught me interpersonal skills that I use daily. It’s sad to see that OGHS couldn’t show Mr. Bree the same respect that he has taught over the years.

  17. Lorrie (Blunck) Yates says:

    I read this and am speechless. Over 30 years have gone by since I had Mr Bree as a teacher. He was a great one. A special one. The kind of teacher that impacts your life and that you never forget. I am currently over 50 years old and am a School Psychology PhD student. Mr. Bree opened my mind to psychology and education all those years ago because he cared and he was amazing. He ignited a passion in me that I still have. Shame on the district! Mr. Bree, I hope that you read everyone of these comments. You are appreciated and never forgotten! Thank you for caring and know how much you were appreciated.

  18. Karen H. says:

    I was a student at OGHS and senior class president in 2011. I am disgusted to hear that Mr. Bree was treated this way. He did not deserve this. The principal, as well as whoever else supported this decision should be ashamed of themselves. You broke his heart. You let him down. And it is unforgivable.

  19. Patrick Russ says:

    This is disgusting. The school district should be ashamed of themselves. Mr Bree was one of the best teachers that I ever had in school. He ran the Peer Counseling program that helped kids in need. Personally, he helped me deal with depression and anger issues. He taught me to love history. He is a big part of the person that I am today. Mr Bree deserves a parade, not to be fired.

  20. Alejandro Agustin says:

    I can’t believe that the School District would do this to Mr. Bree. This just shows how clueless they really are. Mr. Bree was nothing but amazing to us at OG. He was always kind and guided us in life whenever we needed advice. After decades of teaching at that school they fire him with just a letter??? Just makes me sad thinking that they let him go like that.

  21. Douglas Paulson says:

    Well, I’m a teacher at OGHS, and this is the first I’ve heard of the situation. I’m unsure when poor classroom management became a firing offense in the district. I also have to wonder when people began to be fired via letter. I’ve never heard of such a thing in my years.

    Regardless of form, though, Darwin Bree has been a tremendous asset to our school community, and I only wish I could have gotten him to substitute for me more often. They would have been better for the experience.

  22. Kylie says:

    I’m in serious shock; Mr. Bree was better than most of the teachers at OG when I was there only several years ago. He helped me become more confident in the classes I had with him. He helped so many students find a love in learning and encouraged them to reach further than just a high school diploma. The EUSD has made a horrible decision that will show in the coming years. The way they fired him was unprofessional, and downright cowardly. To not even have a face-to-face meeting with him just proves it. They know how much the students love him, and he’s had a long 50 plus years of proof to how positively he’s impacted students’ lives. I doubt that “poor classroom management” had anything to do with this terrible choice.

    So many alumni and current students stand behind you, Mr. Bree!

  23. Joe M says:

    There is more than meets the eye about this one.
    Please consider there is always to sides for every story.
    No doubt Mr. Bree is a good person yet there was a hidden agenda behind his substituting at OGHS.
    He convinced students while he was subbing that he deserved a statute at this school. Some students actually created a petition for this cause.
    Also, he got way to involved in students and personal issues, he was too touchy feely with them.
    There is more behind this than a poor teacher let go for no reason.

    • Godiva Guerrero Lindstrom says:

      Read the letter sent by the district. None of the points you mention are included. If these are the reasons, they should have been referenced in the letter of termination. I have the feeling that you are evaluating Mr. Bree. Have you been in his room? Do you know how he helps students? We always looked forward to having Mr. Bree as a sub because he would actually talk to us.

    • Judi C says:

      Your comment is VERY suspect. I believe you have an agenda against this teacher. Perhaps you were reprimanded by him in the past and just can’t let it go. This is just my personal opinion, but I don’t believe you. Period.

  24. Jennifer Lees says:

    He is one of the few good memories from OGHS. Mr Bree always keep the class involved and fun.

  25. Julian Garcia says:

    I absolutely cannot believe that the district would do something like this. I am going to be an incoming Senior next year at Orange Glen and I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t met Mr. Bree as a freshmen, in every class he subbed he never failed to inspire me and always told me to be my best self, Mr. Bree is praised among students as an icon and even a father figure to some. Mr. Bree inspired me to become so involved that I’ve taken on the role of Senior Class President next year and I couldn’t be more thankful for what he had done for me. This is a crucial mistake within the district and although we might not get Mr. Bree to teach/sub at Orange Glen again we will always cherish the memories we’ve had with him and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say,
    We love you Mr. Bree!
    ~ Class Of 2019

  26. Maria says:

    I can’t believe that this man who has so much care and compassion for so many is being treated this way. There are so many teachers out there that just do their job for a paycheck and Mr. Bree actually has a passion for his job.

  27. ken w maculan says:

    As a friend to Mr. Bree for many years it has been an honor! When out in public, I can’t tell you how many times his past students would run up to him and hug and thank him for being such a fabulous teacher and friend. He always brought the best out of his students. He is a kind, trusting,concerned and dedicated teacher. There are TONS of teachers today that should be fired but NOT him!! The school district fired him because of his age and they know they can’t discriminate on that so they made up that excuse.The school district is such a wonderful model to all the students on how NOT to do something. Who would fire someone without even so much as calling them in and explaining what needs to be corrected. EVERYONE deserves an explanation and a chance to improve their skills. GREAT JOB SCHOOL DISTRICT!! You wouldn’t know an excellent teacher if you saw one because you’re NOT in the class room, you don’t talk to the students or teachers, and it’s all about money. SHAME ON YOU!!

  28. Sam H says:

    It is a real shame to see my favorite teacher from OGHS be treated with such disrespect. 50+ years of touching so many students lives just to be dropped like a bad habit?!? Mr. Bree actually cared about his students and, at least in my time, the students respected him.

  29. Michelle Jilly says:

    Let’s just be clear…almost none of the teachers at Orange Glen were actually informed of this. So let’s not judge the teachers at OG for not responding to something they did not know about.

  30. Dave Engle says:

    What a disgusting way to treat such a phenomenal teacher. Mr. Bree was one of a handful of teachers that not only cared about their students, but went above and beyond their job to help their students succeed in school and in life.

    The Escondido Union School District needs to think about what they’re teaching their students by treating an employee like this. Talk about a teaching failure.

    Dave Engle
    OGHS Class of 1993

  31. Grace G. says:

    Mr. Bree will forever be loved and missed by anyone who ever had him as a substitute! He cared, asked questions, and wanted more than a career for his students. This was his passion and to just be let go without notice is unbelievable. Thanks for being one the great memories of OGHS Mr. Bree!

  32. Jr says:

    This has to do with his age, that’s my opinion! He was fired for being 81 years old…they know he won’t fight it but we need to come together on his behave. This is bullshit!

    • Jeanne says:

      Of they fired Me Brew for being 81 that known as age discrimination which
      is illegal.
      I’m appalled the school district would stop so low as to fire a teacher in a
      I graduated OGHS in 1972 and still remember the compassion Mr. Bree.showed his students

  33. Elizabeth says:

    How tasteless. This sounds fishy to me as he’s not protected under the teacher’s union. Could this be an evil ploy to get all non-union instructors out of the district? I wouldn’t be surprised. I hope they eat their words.

  34. Katie Mason says:

    This makes me absolutely sick and I’m thoroughly disgusted with my alma mater. I used to look forward to the days when Mr. Bree would substitute in my classes. He was such an inspiration. We love you Mr. Bree!!!

  35. Angela S. says:

    Shame on the Escondido School District and Orange Glen High School. How can a teacher (substitute at the time or not) after dedicating as many years to the school, students and staff as Mr.Bree did, just be let go as quick and easy as that. No warning? No meeting? No discussion as to how he could possibly fix what they felt he was doing wrong? Just a letter to tell him adios and that they don’t need him any longer. What negative impact did he have on students? My husband who had him as a teacher back in 1995 and my son who had him in 2014 both have nothing but amazing, nice , educational stories to tell about him. Well Mr. Bree ~ Now you are on to bigger and better things. May your next chapter be just as great if not better than the last. Cheers!

  36. Jennifer says:

    I can’t believe what I just read ! How insulting to a true teacher and mentor to make him look bad after 50 yrs. I was a student of Mr Bree for several years during 1986-1988 I loved his sociology and psychology classes and ended up part of the peer counseling program. He gave teenagers hope to have confidence and believe in themselves. He respected our questions and suggestions along with guidance. I can’t believe any of that statement that he couldn’t manage his classroom. He’s a true leader and I respected him then and still now.
    I have never forgot him as my teacher.
    This breaks my heart the way they went about letting him go. It appears to just have been to hurt him. Sad affairs seem to be happening at orange glen high.

  37. Jennifer Stoker says:

    This stinks of let’s push the older wiser teacher out of a job because he probably makes more money then the district is willing to pay for. Typical move of escondido schools push out all of the good kind hearted teachers that actually give a shit. How incredibly sad for Mr.Bree a man that has gone above and beyond for others. Shame on you OGHS and shame on the district!!

  38. Lynae lara says:

    This is terrible! Mr.Bree was a very kind hearted dedicated teacher . He always had a smile on his face and was very approachable and kind . Really oghs? I have a son that just graduated this year from OG and a daughter who will be a sophomore this fall at OG. I am disapointed and sad to hear about this and question the motive behind the decision to fire Me. Bree. At very least he deserved a face to face meeting and a chance to work out what ever issues promted his dismissal. He is a great asset and he will be missed . Keep your head up Mr. Bree !

  39. Sean Garcia says:

    I am from the OG Class of 86. I never had Mr. Bree but had a lot of friends who did. I was affected by his caring and kindness thru my friends. I am appalled by the OG admins taking this action and doing it in a heartless manner. So much for OG P.R.I.D.E. At this moment I am ashamed to be a Patriot. And as for the EUHSD. I have been to the the district a couple of times this year, and talked on the phone with them about my sons teacher and the way she cant control her class. Most of her students have lost interest in the class because she spends more time lecturing on how to behave than teching subject matter. And she doesn’t grade papers and assignments until months later. Yet OG AND EUHSD feel the need to let go of a teacher (in a demeaning manner) that has been loved for 50 yrs? It shows that both organizations are clueless and makes me question their ability to teach my son anything. CHARTER SCHOOL SOUNDS BETTER AND BETTER.

  40. Tiffany says:

    Whoa such a classless thing to do. Don’t even recognize him after 50 yrs!! This is ridiculous!! Me. Bree I don’t know you but I hope you know that we should celebrate your 50 yrs!!

  41. Melanie Wood says:

    This appears to exemplify the coldheartedness of higher management in education. What in the world were they thinking who okayed this?! (Jealousy? Or mere Blindness?)

    I’m San Pasqual alumni and a elementary teacher for 17 years – Mr. Bree strikes me as someone I wish I had the privilege of having as my teacher. Give him the honor and respect he deserves in proper retirement and that HE CAME BACK to serve as a sub – WOW!!! Extra points!! He’s a class act all the way.

    Congratulations, Mr. Bree, you won the hearts of students and changed the world through them. 50 years’ worth. God bless you and them.

  42. Ivan Miranda says:

    Mr bree thank you for all the good advice u gave me and the motivation. Too catch up on my credits and graduate. Im extremely. Pissed off at the. Escondido union district for how. They treated you

  43. Jim Davis says:

    I had Mr.Bree in 1974 for Sociology. He was one of my favorite Teachers. Not because he was easy, and didn’t expect anything, but because He knew how to treat Students and make every effort to Educate while make it enjoyable. I find it in the worst taste to terminate someone who diligently worked to connect and Teach. Even though our personal views differed ( we discussed them) He was an outstanding Educator & Human Being. Seeing this breaks a 59 year old man’s Heart.

  44. Bill Lungren says:

    [EUHSD, OGHS faculty, et al., do not read]
    Dear Mr. Bree,
    This is a humble note from a former student of 39 years letting you know that you had a big part of who I am today. I know that you wouldn’t remember me out of the thousands of students you’ve inspired over the years, but I (we) remember you. Particularly the two things one must never rush 😝.
    Anyway, I want you to know you made a difference.
    All the best,

  45. John Simon says:

    I remember Mr. Bree! I was in one of his classes in either 1978 or 1979. I remember him as being mild mannered, caring and well-liked. It is just a shame that the school system dismissed him in such an insensitive manner. On the plus side, though, at least it wasn’t done via a tweet.

    OGHS Class of 1980

  46. Olivia says:

    Feel bad for him, but his firing makes sense. He would let students fool around and not focus on the tasks the teacher gave him. Everyone loved him because he would let things slip by. I wish I had a good exprience with him, as everyone has good things to say about him. Whenever he was a substitute to my class he always acknowledged everyone but me and kind of made me feel bad. He would literally say goodmorning to every single person that passed by, but if I passed by, no goodmorning was said to me. He would even skip me when he had to collect tests or if he passed out candy. Anyways, he should just move on honestly, why want to work in a place he was let go. Just cherish the memories that he did get to make

    • kathy Burtness says:

      I doubt very seriously that any of your accusations are true. I think that perhaps you are mixed up in your perceptions of what actually happened. Mr. Bree would never behave as such.

    • Judi C. says:

      Sorry, Olivia, but I just don’t believe you. You and Joe M. should get together, you seem to be the two students with selective memories and a sour-grapes attitude. Shame on you.

  47. kathy Burtness says:

    Mr. Bree was the ONLY Teacher I connected with in four years at Orange Glen High School. I was a rebellious teen and my rebellion would incorporate me reading Harold Robbins’ novels in the back of the classroom rather than engage and learn. Only in Mr. Bree’s class would I pay attention and get involved. He was a brilliant teacher and an amazing human being.

    I really hope that the “officials” at the school district rethink this termination and allow a favorite teacher retire with the accolades he so richly deserves!

  48. Jim says:

    As a sophomore, I remember having Mr. Bree for a sociology course. Although I’m sure there are two sides to the story, I remember Mr. Bree as always maintaining a genial combination of control and approachability. He was both gentle and conversational and his lectures were well-paced and thought-provoking. He asked questions and encouraged student involvement in discussions. I also admired his ability to deliver potentially complex information in an easy to understand manner. Considering Mr. Bree’s recent accolades, I’m curious what led to this decision. There might be a case for age discrimination. I wish him well. He was an influence (as I now also teach).

  49. Theresa says:

    Well, I guess Ill add this to the list of how ghetto Escondido has become since I graduated Orange Glen in 1983. I guess Mr Bree wasn’t able to handle all the undisciplined kids they have at schools now. I came from a time when children respected teaches and a School district was caring to their teaches and backed them up. Is it Mr Bree that cant control the Kids or Kids who have run amuck with no discipline at home? My entire family has moved from Escondido after seeing it go down the toilet. I guess they now have people in the school district that dont have resect or loyalty to this wonderful teacher. Isn’t that fitting for this Ghetto city. Shame on you!!! You want to get rid of him? Give him a golden parachute, tell him how valued he is and honor this teacher after 50 years. Disgusting that at 81 he has to live the rest of his days with the thought he was fired after serving 50 years for you. Have some class Escondido…Oh ya, I forgot you lost all class in that city.

  50. Paula Suasa says:

    Once again Escondido Union High School District proving that it is the last place anyone should send their children.

  51. Matthew Rumble says:

    This is really wrong for many reasons, and I would guess for most former students something easy to defend. It seemed like every kid knew which teachers cared and which did not. Many teachers upon looking back were burnt out or were apathetic, but some clearly taught because they cared. Mr Bree stood up for me in a difficult time and played a really large part in keeping me in school. At the time I had a really difficult time understanding why he Mr Rutledge and Mrs Neilson fought for me, and came up with a plan that allowed me to not be expelled. Later I found out from Mr Rutledge (before he passed) that some staff knew the reasons for some of my difficulty’s and why they protected me. This makes so little sense to me this treatment of such a kind, caring man, who I would guess inspired countless kids. I am a better person for knowing him and even though I struggled for years I am forever greatful. The Escondido High School district should re-examine the whys and rectify this..I really hope someone from the district reads this and the many letters of support. You should do better then this.

  52. Esme says:

    I remember Mr Bree and it’s a shame the Escondido union high school district did this to Mr.Bree. He was and always will be a great teacher and well respected as well. Congrats on your 50 yrs of teaching you go Mr. Bree and you definitely made a difference!!

  53. Vazquez says:

    Mr. Bree is a great teacher and unlike some teachers at OG he always pushed his students to do their best in school and in life. If poor class management is the reason for firing Mr. Bree then they should really consider firing other teachers that I know that had no control over their class. As an alumni of OGHS it saddens me to read this. Mr. Bree invested alot of his time at OGHS and never once did I hear him talk negative about the school. He was always such a positive spirit

  54. Athena says:

    Mr. Bree was one of many teachers loved by students. EUHSD Made the biggest mistake of their entire lives. He was the reason why many students continued on with school or life. He was a inspiration to all. I am furious and this was stupid to let him go.

  55. Marc D. says:

    I am glad that someone had the intestinal fortitude to have this person fired. If it wasn’t for tenure and unions, he would have been gone long ago. I find it hard to believe that these people on here actually ‘learned’ something in this guys class? What did he ‘teach’? I had him and he never once opened a book to ‘teach’. Instead, he just stared at all of us for 40 minutes a day, nodded his head like a bobble doll once in a while, as we all shrugged our shoulders wondering what the heck we were we supposed to be doing. The word around school was always, ‘If you need an easy ‘A’, take Mr. Bree! ‘If you wanna get stoned before class, take Mr. Bree.’ ‘If you want to do other homework instead of taking it home, take Mr. Bree.’ ‘If you like napping during class, take Mr. Bree.’ To me, Mr. Bree freaked me out more than just about anyone in my life ever has. A really creepy, lurchy kind of person. Tried to get out of his class after a few weeks but no other classes were available. I believe his creepy whiny quiet voice was a charade of sorts and his shtick to get corrupt malleable and vulnerable youths to believe he was some psycho guru. Good riddance, Mr. Bree. I find it creepy that an 81 year old finds his most pleasure hanging about 14-18 year olds for over 50 years. Find some therapy, Mr. Bree. I think you have needed some for a very, very long time.

    • DJ says:

      A really creepy, lurchy kind of person, defines you Marc! All the above accolades for Mr. Bree are without merit?
      Nah, your comment should be considered creepy and lurchy, bud. Sounds to me like you might need find some “therapy”!

  56. Dennis says:

    Charan Kirpalani should be ashamed! A teacher of over 51 years to be terminated via a letter is beyond comprehension. Shame on you Escondido Union High School District and Charan Kirpalani!

  57. Tammy says:

    I still remember things I learned in his psyc class from more than 30 years ago! Can’t say that for many of my other classes throughout the years. His love and passion for teaching and his good heart towards his students deserves more than a form letter. What a disgrace the school district has become. Return the kindness he has shown to all of us by allowing him to “retire” vs the termination on his record. It’s the least you can do for his 51 years of service. Shame on you EUHSD.

  58. Monique says:

    This makes me so upset !!!
    Mr. Bree was my absolute favorite sub and I’m not only saying this just to say it. He was an actual “Sub” teacher who really cared about his students and pushed them to there highest level not only that he actually engaged with each student and taught very well on the class subject. I can say us as students were not always on our best behavior and teens are hard to deal with and I’m pretty sure any teacher can agree. So it’s not ” poor class room management” I think they just don’t want you to collect your pension on their dime! I feel it has nothing to do with Mr. Bree and “poor classroom management ” it’s the damn students. He wanted to see he’s student or any student get through high school and show us we can do anything if we push ourselves and believe just like he believes in us he was so helpful , personal, dedicated not only for Orange Glen High School but also for the California Center of the Arts where I performed when I took dance classes in high school and I would see him greeting and showing people where to be seated. I’m in disbelief that this happened to Mr. Bree and I’m embarrassed to even call OG my high school.

  59. Dana says:

    The District retracted the “firing” “terminated” language and the alumni are now working on getting a building on the campus named after Mr. Bree and will be hosting a Retirement and his 82 birthday celebration on August 31st.


  60. Joel A. Warriner, Sr. says:

    Okay, I am the one that said that Mr. Bree was the best HS teacher I ever had and that he is most likely the best teacher I ever had period.

    Now, I went to the BYU Provo, and excelled as an Engineering Geologist. Mr. Bree directed me to be positive and always find reasons to compliment.

    So, we have a Escondido School District policy of managing the classroom. Who cares, they are all a bunch of peanut counters anyways.

    If I could I would like to go to the retirement.

    I am so close to being extremely pissed off at this, but then, I think, what would Mr. Bree Do? I would be the gentleman he is and move on.

    EUSD sucks, end of story. They screwed themselves. Hooray for Mr. Bree. He is the all wise mentor to countless successful people, and I am happy to report that I am one of them.

  61. lynda frederick says:

    50 years of hard work; inspiration; memories and love and this is how the district ends his career?
    (the “I Forgive You” quote was female NOT male by the way ha i know cause it was me) and when he showed up on that show he remembered me after 25 years and he said “welcome home”.
    Mr. Bree and i talked over the phone when he got that letter and he was in tears. how the heck can someone so dedicated for so many years be treated that way?
    Mr. Bree love ya and thanks for your years of teaching and your door always being open

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