Suspended St. Paul Teacher Has History Of Controversy
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Update: In January of 2013 the St. Paul School District reached a settlement in the federal racial discrimination case against Timothy Olmsted. Details of the settlement are confidential. Following an investigation, the Minnesota Board of Teaching disciplinary committee decided not to hand down any disciplinary action against Mr. Olmstead and his teaching license is still active.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A man has been suspended for allegedly giving a sexually suggestive birthday card to a grade school student and for talking about castration in front of his 6th grade class.
That’s just part of what was found after digging deeper into the background of a St. Paul teacher on paid leave for other reported problems in his classroom.
WCCO-TV first told you about allegations of racial discrimination against Tim Olmstead at The Heights Community School two weeks ago. Olmstead has been on paid leave since mid-January as the district investigates.
Now, more students are speaking out after they said their teacher went too far. They are strange comments that Aylecia Ingram-Jones says became a part of school.
“He would say random things like when I get out of the shower my dog drys me off,” Jones said.
She too said she had to sit in the back of Olmstead’s sixth grade class because she’s black.
“Before this I don’t think my child has ever experienced a racial profiling incident,” said Miguel Jones, Aylecia’s father.
This isn’t the first time he’s been forced from a school.
In 2002, the St. Paul School District said Olmstead gave a sixth grade girl a birthday card containing sexual innuendo and told her to read it to the class. That same year, the district said Olmstead assigned a Stephen King book to read even though it contained violent, vulgar and sexual language.
The district said he also gave a graphic description to his class of castrating horses and throwing testicles into the field for cats to eat.
After those complaints, the district suspended Olmstead without pay for five days.
Then last school year, he got in trouble again. At a holiday staff party the district says he pushed down a female employee, moved his hip area against her, and made a remark about how she liked it. He was given a written reprimand for the incident.
“It’s disgusting. It’s degrading,” Jones said.
Jones has moved his daughter to another school district, but doesn’t see why there should be any question over whether or not Olmstead should be allowed to teach again.
“I wouldn’t stand for it. Right is right. Wrong is wrong, ” he said.
No one from the St. Paul School District would agree to an on-camera interview. There is no state mandate when it comes to teacher discipline, instead it’s up to the district and teachers union to decide. A spokesperson for St. Paul schools said “its labor agreement follows due process and when a reprimand happens it follows that agreement.”
Our phone calls to Olmstead were not returned.