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Teacher investigated

by Merrie Leininger

A long-time Douglas High School teacher is being investigated for inappropriate use of the Internet at school.

The Douglas County School District issued a statement Tuesday morning saying officials couldn’t provide much information because of state law protecting the teacher’s identity.

“We are currently conducting a thorough investigation to determine as quickly as possible the appropriate consequences. The employee in question has been very forthright and cooperative in the investigation and realizes the seriousness of the situation and the possible consequences,” the statement read.

School personnel director John Soderman said the district is following all state laws regarding personnel. That means the teacher will continue to be paid. The teacher can choose to have a hearing within five days of the suspension. The hearing will be heard by representatives from the state Bar Association, the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association and the American Arbitration Association. The recommendation of that group would go to the school board for final consideration.

The teacher can also waive the right to a hearing.

“The law is spelled out and we are following the law,” Soderman said.

He said any identifying information about the teacher such as name, subject taught, and salary cannot be released by the district according to state law and the contract with the teacher.

“State laws require we deal with these personnel issues otherwise than in a public fashion. We are not at liberty to provide all the information the public may want. Beyond that, we put ourselves at risk in terms of handling personnel issues appropriately,” Soderman said.

He said no other staff member has been put on administrative leave during this school year.

“It would take a pretty important problem to put someone on administrative leave,” Soderman said.

Marty Cronin, president of the teachers’ association, and DHS teacher, said he hopes the public will not rush to judge the teacher.

“Everyone knows (he) is longstanding, dedicated teacher. It is my personal perception, that if it is established he did something improper, he should be given a chance to make things right,” Cronin said.