Oregon Police: Teacher texts had 'sexual overtones' - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Oregon Police: Teacher texts had 'sexual overtones'


By Bob Schaper - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

OREGON (WKOW) -- Two days after an Oregon High School teacher resigned, police give details about the investigation.

"[The texts] did have sexual overtones to them, and I'm not going to go into details, but certainly a reasonable person would look at them and think they were inappropriate to forward them to juveniles," Oregon Police Chief Douglas Pettit said.

Pettit said the texts were reported by a faculty member at the high school, who then contacted the school resource officer. In addition to words, the texts contained images, though apparently not photographs.

"There were some cartoonish type images in the texts," Pettit said.

Pettit's assigned two detectives to the case, and they've already downloaded the texts from the students' cell phones. So far though, they've not been able to reach the teacher.

"[The staff person has] not called us back or made any effort to contact the Oregon police department," Pettit said.

"We don't have a formal board policy on that," Brian Busler, Oregon School District superintendent, said.

Busler says he's been researching a texting policy for months. But with the latest event, developing a policy has become a priority. He said he expects to have something ready for the board of education within 30 to 45 days.

As for texting itself, Busler says he sees nothing wrong with using cell phones to communicate with parents or kids, so long as its school-related.

"I've sent some text messages to students related to club sports events," Busler said.

Pettit says there's a fine line between what's inappropriate and what's illegal.

"It's one thing to be inappropriate, it's another thing for it to rise to a... criminal charge," he said.

Wisconsin law requires notification to the state superintendent if a person resigns and the administrator has a reasonable suspicion that the resignation relates to the person having engaged in immoral conduct.

Busler says the teacher has been reported. Now the state superintendent will conduct an investigation to decide if her license should be revoked.

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