What was supposed to be a news conference set up to explore allegations of wrongdoing by a former Taft High School Principal wound up being a rather short list of references about those problems issued by Superintendent of Schools Tom Rinearson.
According to earlier reports, a much heralded and praised Taft High School Principal Scott Reed, who has helped raise Taft student scores appreciably over the past five years, had apparently gotten into trouble back in 2005 with the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. The commission filed several complaints against Reed during his time as a coach and dean of students for the Central Linn School District. The complaint was for “licking the blood from a wound” on the knee of a female middle school student. The commission also claimed Reed also licked the blood from the arm of a male student in the school locker room before a football practice. Also, licked the blood from the hand of a male high school student during the football season.
The Standards and Practices Commission declared Reed’s action in violation of the school district’s policies concerning precautions dealing with blood-borne pathogens (diseases). Reed admitted to the violations which also declare such actions constitute gross neglect of duty as an employee of the school district.
The Commission ordered Reed to take classes on avoiding exposure of blood-borne diseases, that he not lick the blood of any students or co-workers, and that he comply with all Standards of Competent and Ethical Performance of Educators under the state’s administrative code.
After agreeing to comply with the commission’s findings, Reed signed them and was put on probation for 2 years, agreeing to be bound by the above orders.
Schools Superintendent Tom Rinearson commented that when Reed was hired by the Lincoln County School District, “there was no place in the application process at that time to capture this type of information.” However, Rinearson said that “Reed did, in fact, disclose the information verbally at the time of his hire.” Rinearson added that “the District has since moved to an extensive digital application process that includes disclosure of information of this type.”
Spending Student Body Funds
Rinearson’s short list also indicated that there had been allegations made against Scott for using student government funds to purchase flowers and candy for deserving recipients. Two former Taft High student government members contended that Reed had borrowed the money from the student funds but later paid it back. Rinearson said “There was no substantiation for these claims.”
Stolen memorial plaque
A memorial plaque that was stolen from the Taft High Football Field and later turned up at a local dump site full of bullet damage was the third issue Rinearson raised in his brief memo to the community. Although it’s been reported that former Taft High Principal Scott Reed knows who did it, he would not file a criminal complaint. As a result, Rinearson hired a private investigator to track down the facts. He said the result of that investigation has been turned over to the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office. This afternoon District Attorney Rob Bovett acknowledged receipt of the information and that the incident is still being “actively investigated.” But he added, there is no specific timeline on how things might proceed.
Scott Reed has since been transferred from Taft High to the district office to head up the school district’s alternative learning programs which includes providing education for students who either don’t fit within a standard schoolroom environment and who want to benefit from other methods of teaching to earn their high school diploma.
Rinearson has officially retired from his school district position but will stay on deep into the new school year to help shepherd the new superintendent through his or her new learning curve about the job.