Kristle Vandever, a former English as a second language teacher in Oregon, has lost her teaching license for engaging in sexual activity with "one or more students" and providing underage students with alcohol. But now, some are wondering why she's not in jail.
A report out by the state of Oregon reveals that the 44-year-old educator at McNary Heights Elementary violated five major codes for teachers during her career. She resigned in May 2010 amid a district investigation, though her license wasn't officially revoked until last month, the Hermiston Herald reports.
Immediately following her resignation, Vandever reportedly sent a boasting email from her school account.
"No jail for me and that is only because of luck … no witnesses coming forward," the message reads. "He said he was of legal age, but he lied. I just can't help wanting these hot young boys … and they want me. Who am I to spoil a young man's fantasy. Damn."
The Teacher Standards and Practices Commission found in their investigation that Vandever exhibited a "gross neglect of duty" by providing alcohol, engaging in a sexual relationship with a student and performing oral sex on at least one student. Video of some activity was captured on a cell phone and shared with other students.
But that wasn't enough evidence to prove a crime, local police told KEPR. Assistant Superintendent Tricia Mooney told the station that even revoking Vandever's license took two years because the district must ensure that they are "still protecting the employee's rights and not jumping to conclusions."
The lengthy process to dismiss teachers accused of sexual misconduct is not unique to Umatilla. According to a New York Education Department investigation in the spring, 16 accused teachers were still teaching in the city's schools.
In 14 of the 16 cases, the accused educators were still working with city children, and the city struggles to fire them: independent arbitrators found wrongdoing, but decided that their offenses were not grounds for firing, and instead issued mild penalties like a fine or formal reprimand.
Under state law, tenured teachers have the right to a hearing with an arbitrator before they can be fired, and can appeal an arbitrator's ruling in court. While the Education Department can also appeal the decision to state courts, legal standards for overturning those rulings are very difficult to meet.
Oregon's Vandever is now working in a field outside of teaching, KEPR reports.
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