School district terminates shop teacher

Clint Tatum was hired by the district to work in the Career Technical Education program

June 22, 2019 — On June 19, the Siuslaw School Board met for both an executive and regular session. At the open of the regular session, the board voted to support Siuslaw School District Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak’s decision to terminate the employment of shop teacher Clint Tatum.

“Be it resolved that the Siuslaw School District Board of Directors moves to accept the recommendation of the superintendent and dismiss teacher Tatum for improper conduct that does not meet the standards of the district and of the teachers’ standards and practices commissions effective immediately,” read Director Guy Rosinbaum.

After Resolution 061919-3 was seconded by Director Paul Burns, no further discussion was made during the regular session and the school board voted unanimously in favor.

Tatum, a licensed contractor hired by the district to work in the Career Technical Education program, was placed on administrative leave from his position at Siuslaw middle and high schools in early May after being arrested May 1 for first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree criminal mistreatment. Siuslaw News was unable to verify if Tatum was ever charged in the incident; he was released by Lane County Corrections just over 24 hours later on May 2.

While Florence police said “the investigated incident was not connected to his employment and did not occur on school property,” in an official letter sent to district families, Grzeskowiak stated the leave was in accordance with the policies of the Siuslaw School District and the State of Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. A substitute teacher filled out the remainder of the school year.

According to Grzeskowiak, due to legal and personnel considerations, the district will not provide any further details.

“We base decisions such as this on contract and licensing standards, and do not take such matters lightly,” Grzeskowiak said. “Our paramount concerns are always the safety and well-being of our students, and ensuring that we provide a first-class education.”