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Licking case gets teacher reprimand.

Byline: Karen McCowan The Register-Guard

BEND - The Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission voted Wednesday to publicly reprimand and place Central Linn High School teacher and football coach Scott Reed on two years' probation for licking the bleeding wounds of several student athletes.

The action means that details of the case and censure will be posted on the TSPC Web site, sent to all Oregon school districts and to departments of education nationwide. Under terms of his probation, Reed is required to attend a class on the risks of blood-borne pathogens within the next two months and furnish the commission with written verification of his attendance. He is required to comply with state ethical standards for educators, and "shall not lick blood on the person of any student or co-worker."

Reed accepted the TSPC discipline in an agreement reached ahead of the TSPC's regular meeting Wednesday at the Oregon State University Cascades Campus in Bend.

In the agreement, Reed agreed to "stipulated facts" that included him licking blood from wounds on a track team member's knee, a football player's arm, and a high school student's hand. The agreement also called those actions "gross neglect of duty" and a violation of the school's blood-borne pathogens policy.

The agreement shed no light on why Reed licked blood from the students, and he did not respond to a reporter's efforts to contact him through the high school in Halsey and the Central Linn District Administration office in Brownsville.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office also investigated the case last year. No charges were filed. Sheriff Dave Burright called the behavior "bizarre" but not criminal, since the contact wasn't forced or unwelcome.

Two students who reported licking incidents and another who witnessed an incident said it seemed that Reed was "just joking around." The Register-Guard does not publish names or other information that could identify students in such investigations.

Reed, a science teacher, resigned this spring as a track coach for what Central Linn Superintendent Max Harrell described as unrelated reasons. But he remains the school's dean of students and head football coach.

The state sanctions virtually duplicated those imposed by the Central Linn district after it investigated the matter last summer. Officials there also required Reed to take a blood-borne pathogens course, and placed a letter of reprimand in his file and put him on a one-year probation period with "zero tolerance" for further incidents.

Some district parents criticized that discipline as a hand-slap, noting that Reed already received annual training in blood-borne pathogens under the district's own policies.

But TSPC Executive Director Vickie Chamberlain called the agency's public reprimand a "serious consequence," noting that the stipulated order will be posted on the district's Web site, mailed to every school district in Oregon, and sent to every state education department nationwide.

In a separate case on Wednesday, the TSPC also sanctioned Harrell, the Central Linn superintendent, for gross neglect of duty. He also will receive a public reprimand and two years' probation.

Harrell's stipulated agreement revealed that he was disciplined for two matters. He employed former Idaho colleague Ed Sansom as a district principal before Sansom had obtained an Oregon administrative certificate. And he allowed uncertified instructor Anthony "Shane" Cherry, hired by Harrell's predecessor, Ed Curtis, to continue teaching a middle school video and drama class at Central Linn Middle School. Cherry was later convicted of child sexual abuse.

Harrell is in a California hospital after back surgery this week and could not be reached for comment.

But when the TSPC charged him in March, the superintendent acknowledged signing Sansom to a temporary contract and a subsequent full-year contract before he had been licensed in Oregon.

Harrell contended that the agency had a past practice of temporarily honoring credentials from other states while administrators await Oregon certification. He also said he had directed his staff to assign another teacher as the "teacher of record" for Cherry's class, though that did not occur.

Chamberlain said Wednesday that the TSPC has never allowed educators to work before they obtain Oregon certification, though it sometimes provided expedited, emergency licensure at school districts' request for teachers and administrators who already had filed all the necessary documents for certification.

Reed and Harrell were among five current or recent Central Linn educators investigated by the TSPC over the past year. Three of them, including Harrell, were targeted in complaints filed by Caring Citizens for Kids and Community, a group of district residents upset with the administration.

One of the complaints, against Central Linn Elementary School Principal David Bolen, was dismissed in January for insufficient grounds.

But the commission has charged Sansom, now principal at Lebanon's Seven Oaks Middle School, with gross neglect of duty over his failure to obtain proper Oregon certification before beginning work at Central Linn.

On Wednesday, it also charged Curtis. TSPC officials declined to reveal the nature of that charge.
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Title Annotation:Schools; The state also censures the Central Linn superintendent in an unrelated matter
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Aug 4, 2005
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