Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CO: Another Teacher Scandal At Brighton School

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) ― A teacher at Brighton Collegiate High School has been fired for inappropriate behavior with a student. Brighton police are investigating the incident but have not arrested that teacher.

The school's Board of Directors sent a letter Tuesday to parents of students informing them of the situation.

The letter states, "We have concluded that there may have been inappropriate conduct on the part of the teacher, and that the teacher's employment has been terminated. We have no reason to believe that the relationship was sexual, but it was inappropriate and will not be tolerated."

"I'm really concerned, this is, this has happened before, so I'm really worried that something might happen to the school. But I really, really like this school and I don't want anything to happen to this school," said Braeden Smith.

"My daughter and a bunch of these kids, they loved that teacher that got fired, okay? He hasn't been charged with anything, so what's going on? Don't blackball this school. The kids are good, they're trying," said Rocky Biggs, parent of a student at Brighton Collegiate High School.

Selene Vamora, student, said the latest allegation troubled her. "You don't know what to expect from any of the teachers, so now you just need to be careful," said Vamora.

The school's principal insisted the teacher's termination should send a message about student safety. "We found the actions of a staff member were questionable. We do not have any room within our school community for questionable conduct," said Kirk Salmela.

The school district's board of education will meet next week to discuss the future of this high school.

This is the fourth incident at the school that has resulted in a staff member leaving.

Ralph Kelly, a former teacher at what used to be called Brighton Charter School, pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a student in 2008.

A year before that the former principal's wife was arrested after having a sexual liaison with one of her students during a camping trip she chaperoned. Carrie McCandless was sentenced to 45 days in jail and five years probation.

Former School Board President David Mundy, Sr. resigned in the wake of the scandal and pleaded guilty to failure to report child abuse.

The previous summer, his son, David Mundy, Jr. was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years probation for sexual contact with three girls. One of them Mundy, Jr. taught while subbing at the school.

The school eventually chose not to renew its contract with Principal Chris McCandless.

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