Siuslaw teacher arrested, placed on administrative leave

Due to an off-campus incident over the past weekend, Siuslaw Middle and High School instructor Clint Tatum was arrested by the Florence Police Department and placed on administrative leave from the school district.

According to Commander John Pitcher, “On May 1, the School Resource Officer with the Florence Police Department was contacted regarding a possible assault against a juvenile that resulted in minor injuries.”

After the police investigation, Tatum was arrested for first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree criminal mistreatment. He was transported to Lane County Corrections and released after 27 hours on May 2 at 8 p.m.

Florence Police report that the investigation is ongoing.

On Thursday, Siuslaw School District sent an official notice to school district families that Tatum had been placed on administrative leave.

While Pitcher said “the investigated incident was not connected to his employment and did not occur on school property,” Siuslaw School Superintendent Andrew Grzeskowiak said the leave is in accordance with the policies of the Siuslaw School District and the State of Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

“During an ongoing investigation of a staff member by outside agencies, the district typically places the staff member on paid administrative leave because the staff member is unable to fulfill their professional duties at that time,” Grzeskowiak said.

He said district staff members are cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation and awaiting a final determination of the legal system.

In the meantime, a substitute instructor will cover Tatum’s classes at the middle and high schools, which include career technical education courses in construction. The substitute is available to close out the end of the school year in early June.

Tatum had previously been the head coach for the Siuslaw girls’ basketball program for three seasons before resigning mid-season in November 2017, citing personal reasons.

“We await a clear resolution with law enforcement,” Grzeskowiak said. “The safety and security of our students is always our highest priority.”

The school district and police department will provide more information when it is available.