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School board mulls over staff conduct policy

By Michelle San Miguel, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau/Telemundo Anchor, michelle.sanmiguel@krdo.com
Published On: Feb 26 2014 12:30:53 AM CST

School board mulls over staff conduct policy

PUEBLO, Colo. -

Pueblo City Schools Board of Education is revising its staff conduct policy. Board members want to make it clear what is inappropriate behavior between teachers and students.

The proposed policy change comes after an investigation involving former South High School teacher Larisa Oringdulph. She resigned Nov. 7 after admitting to kissing and sexting with a 17-year-old student.

Board president Dr. Kathy DeNiro acknowledged the policy change is common sense. "We have a lot of people who don't use that common sense and so when you have that you have to have a policy to help people understand what the limitations are and what kind of behavior they cannot or cannot have when they're around students," she said.

According to police reports obtained by KRDO, when a parent complained to South High School principal Aaron Bravo about Larisa Oringdulph, the parent said the complaint fell on deaf ears. Under the proposed policy, if parents aren't pleased with how the administration handles it, the policy outlines who the parent should contact next.

"The parents didn't know where to go, right," said board member Rose Holloway. "And when they did go somewhere they didn't like the results and they didn't know where to go."

The board delayed voting on the policy until next month. DeNiro raised concern over the proposed changes. She said they unfairly call into question whether teachers hanging out with students, who they are related to, outside of class would be appropriate.

"We know why the policy came about and we know what we want to prevent but let's not throw out common sense," DeNiro said.

The board is expected to vote on the policy March 18. 

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