BEA board votes to “discharge” teacher

Local News

Blue Earth Area School Board on a 6-0 vote passed a resolution to “discharge” a teacher at their meeting last Tuesday, Oct. 4.

The identity of the teacher was not made public and no explanation was given for the board’s action.

The resolution simply called for, “Immediately discharging Teacher A.”

Mark Anfinson, a Twin Cities attorney with expertise in the state’s Data Privacy laws, says district officials should have released the teacher’s name.

“That would definitely be public information,” he says. “The Data Practices Act makes clear that the employment status of every employee is always public.” contacted Superintendent Mandy Fletcher several days after the meeting and she identified the teacher as Chelsea Thayer.

Fletcher says Thayer was discharged because three weeks before teachers were to report for work in August to prepare for the new year, she notified the district she was leaving to teach elsewhere.

“She was asked to stay and teach until a suitable replacement was found. She refused,” says Fletcher. “She was discharged because the extremely short notice given was deemed a dischargeable offense.”

State law requires a teacher leaving a district, says Fletcher, to give notice before April 1 of the prior school year.

Thayer, according to the Blue Earth Area website, was an elementary teacher for more than 10 years and she has accepted a similar position with Fairmont Area Schools.

Fletcher wouldn’t say whether Thayer was the employee board members went into closed-session on Sept. 12 to discuss allegations or charges against a district employee.

After 90 minutes behind closed doors, the board unanimously passed a resolution, “proposing appropriate action toward an employee.”

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