Former Emmett educator loses Idaho teaching license for a year

Jon Greer, a former Emmett High School teacher who pleaded guilty to injuring a 16-year-old student at the school, is barred from teaching in Idaho for a year, according to an order from Idaho’s Professional Standards Commission.

Greer was charged with the misdemeanor crime in May 2018, after a 16-year-old high school student reported that Greer had grabbed him by the neck. According to documents from the commission, the student “addressed Mr. Greer as “Greer the Queer,” in a school hallway.  In return, the commission alleges, Greer grabbed the student by the neck, lifted the kid “somewhat” off his feet and squeezed his neck.

Police heard about the incident the next day and charged Greer with one count of misdemeanor injury to children.

Greer pleaded guilty to the charge in November, court documents show. He agreed to write an apology to the school district and not to apply to teach in Gem County. He received a withheld judgement, and can have the case dismissed in November.

The commission decided on  April 4 that Greer won’t be able to teach in Idaho for a year. He also has to take a “professional boundaries” course, according to commission documents.

Action taken against other licenses

The commission, which regulates all teaching certificates in Idaho, took action against a number of other educators this year, including revoking the licenses of those accused of having sexual relationships with students.

The group revoked the license of Jason Benjamin, a former teacher at middle and high schools in the Twin Falls area, for violating professional code and “gross neglect of duty.” Benjamin went to trial on rape charges for having sex with a 17-year-old high school girl (a former student of his) in October 2017.

Benjamin was acquitted of rape charges related to the incident. According to the Twin Falls Times-News, Benjamin admitted to police that he knowingly had sex with the underage girl, but jurors unanimously found him not guilty of rape. According to the commission’s review, the girl told Benjamin that she wanted to have a sexual encounter.

The commission also decided to permanently revoke the teaching certificate of former Mountain View High School (West Ada) teacher Rebecca Mason-Cales following criminal charges of sexual contact with an underage student. Mason-Cales received a seven-year suspended sentence but was ordered to serve 120 days in jail and placed on seven years probation after she pleaded guilty to one felony count of sexual battery against a minor. The student in this case also said the sex was consensual in court, according to the Idaho Press.

Mason-Cales was also ordered to participate in a sex-offender treatment program.

Jordan White’s teaching license was revoked after he pleaded guilty to sex-related crimes in Wisconsin, according to commission documents. He was certified to teach agricultural science and technology in Idaho. White pleaded guilty in 2018 to child enticement-sexual contact, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and causing a child to view sexual activity.

Commissioners also revoked the instructional certificate of Robert Hamilton, a former teacher at Ramsey Magnet School in the Coeur d’Alene School District.

According to the commission, Hamilton was discovered under the influence while on the job last April. Commission documents say that Hamilton blew a .05 on a Wednesday morning breathalyzer — not high enough to fail a driving test, but enough to be placed on administrative leave. Hamilton signed the commission’s order revoking his license and, according to commission documents, agreed that he violated the State Board of Education ethics code.

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