Educator-oversight commission could strip former Marsh Valley superintendent of K-12 certifications

The state’s educator ethics commission will consider revoking the teaching and administrative certifications from former Marsh Valley Superintendent Marvin Hansen over professional ethics violations.

Marvin Hansen

An administrative complaint drafted by the Idaho Professional Standards Commission and obtained by Idaho Education News through a public records request alleges that Hansen, while superintendent, had sex with his former administrative assistant in the Marsh Valley School District building on numerous occasions during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years, that the encounters took place during work hours and in a school district vehicle.

“Mr. Hansen’s conduct or course of conduct willfully violated a principle of the code of ethics that was adopted by the Idaho State Board of Education,” the Feb. 25 complaint reads.

The complaint cites two alleged violations of the educator code of ethics:

  • “A professional educator entrusted with public funds and property honors that trust with a high level of honesty, accuracy, and responsibility.”
  • “A professional educator ensures just and equitable treatment of all members of the profession in the exercise of academic freedom, professional rights and responsibilities while following generally recognized professional principles.”

Hansen, who has received a copy of the complaint but declined to comment on the matter Monday morning, has 30 days to request a hearing before a panel of the 18-member commission. Otherwise, the allegations will be “treated as admitted,” the complaint reads.

The PSC oversees ethical disciplinary matters in Idaho, with members appointed to three-year terms by the State Board of Education.

The State Department of Education’s certification and professional standards coordinator, Lisa Colón Durham, signed the three-page complaint.

Hansen worked as Marsh Valley’s superintendent for 16 years before being demoted to an administrative assistant position earlier this school year. Trustees bought out his contract for $27,500 on Feb. 9.

Hansen has admitted to ethical violations

The administrative complaint marks the latest in an ongoing saga over Hansen’s purported actions during his time leading the district.

The former superintendent was last year embroiled in a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former district employee. Trustees hired an independent investigator to probe the complaint. The investigator concluded Hansen’s relationship with the former employee “did not amount to sexual harassment under District policy” but that a “sexual relationship existed” between the two.

Marsh Valley trustees demoted Hansen  for ethical violations in June and gave him a new contract with reduced pay. Hansen later admitted on Facebook to misusing a district car and cell phone but did not mention a sexual relationship with an employee.

In June, a man attacked Hansen with a baseball bat outside the Marsh Valley district office. David Battson, 50, complained that Hansen had “forced himself sexually” on his wife and that attacking the superintendent was a way to “take care of it,” police said.

The beating left Hansen in the hospital. He has since been recovering from home.

In January, Hansen filed a tort claim against the school district, alleging that trustees forced him out on sick leave after demoting him for ethical violations.

The tort claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, asks for $300,000 in “special damages” and $200,000 in “general damages” for Hansen. A separation agreement, which outlined Hansen’s $27,500 contract buyout, released the district from any liabilities outlined in the tort claim and ended Hansen’s employment with the district.

Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this story. 

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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