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LETTER: Investigations best left to professionals

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opinion New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

To the Editor:

Well, it appears that spring is finally here and more than the grass has been uncovered, or has it?

The May 5, 2013, New Richmond News headline story caused the cows to give sour milk, the chickens to stop laying eggs and pigs to start losing weight. The headline "New Richmond High School Teacher contract terminated," read like a dime story novel filled with innuendo, taboo, CSI technology, Barney Fife and the Keystone Cops.

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It seems to me that the idea of a human resources director conducting an investigation with the superintendent observing and managing the investigation of alleged misconduct by a teacher with a student is best left to the professionals - law enforcement.

Wisconsin Statutes and Federal Law are very clear in listing who is mandated by law to report immediately any instance of alleged illegal behavior with a student or minor.

The great loss in this story is that teachers and staff may become fearful of spending the extra time to assist a student, or listen patiently as a student tells of a bad day or speaks of issues with parents or peers. A good teacher will present the material in a manner prescribed by the district. A great teacher will establish a learning relationship with students that will forever propel those students to greater achievements and that teacher will never be forgotten.

By our own negligence we have allowed a great teacher and promising young woman to be tried in the courts of assumption and innuendo. It is a blessing that both are of a character that is much stronger than most.

They will go forth and prosper which is more than I can say for those left in the New Richmond School District.

Mark Jackelen

New Richmond

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