Declo bullying case not closed (UPDATED)

(UPDATED, Sunday, 5:15 p.m., with corrected information from The Times-News.)

Months after allowing students to scribble on the faces of students who had failed to meet reading goals, a Declo teacher will remain on the job this fall.

The November incident generated national headlines. It also sparked an investigation by the state’s Professional Standards Commission, as parents accused fourth-grade teacher Summer Larsen of condoning and rewarding bullying in the classroom.

“I was told any PSC activity in this case would not preclude the school district from renewing Mrs. Larsen’s contract for the 2013-2014 school years,” Cassia County School District Superintendent Gaylen Smyer wrote in an e-mail to the Times-News in Twin Falls.

The Times-News later corrected the story, saying Smyer was mistaken. ” Debbie Critchfield, district public information officer, said since then that the district has been notified that the case is still open and a resolution is expected in September.”

Retiring school principal Rebecca Hunsaker recommended rehiring Larsen, according to the Times-News.

Here’s some backstory from The Times-News and KMVT in Twin Falls.





Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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