Teacher Busted for Drugs, AP Excludes MTDem Candidate Connection
MTN reporter Mike Dennison was first to break the news Tuesday night that a Helena elementary school was busted with some hardcore drugs- meth, LSD, cocaine, and hallucinogenic mushrooms.
We spoke about the story on Wednesday morning on the radio, but I had to wonder- where was the Associated Press? I mean, it's a big enough story that an elementary teacher got busted with those kinds of drugs to begin with. But then you add the fact that the teacher in question is married to a statewide Democrat party candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
*For clarification, as you can see in the thread at the above tweet- it appears that the print version for the AP may have included the Democrat candidate reference. However, the broadcast version (which our station pays for) did not include any reference to the Democrat candidate. And that is the version that would likely be voiced and covered by dozens of TV and radio stations across Montana.
As an update to this story, I reached out to the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) here in Montana. Was OPI alerted that a teacher who posed a threat with these drugs had remained in the school for so long? Was OPI ever alerted about this issue, or did the school officials in Helena keep it quiet? We're now getting word that Helena school officials apparently weren't aware of this until Tuesday (Per The Great Falls Tribune).
Dylan Klapmeier, spokesman for OPI, tells us:
OPI was not informed by law enforcement or the district about the charges against Mr. Lehman. The district would have been required to notify OPI if he resigned in lieu of termination or if they had knowledge of the charges. Based on the article, it appears that he simply told them that he was resigning due to personal issues, but we are still working to figure out what exactly occurred between August and November.
He still has an active teaching license so per our usual protocol, OPI’s attorney sent him a letter this week requesting that he surrender his license. If he chooses not to surrender his license, OPI will recommend that the Board of Public Education revoke it.
Here's the video of the initial report from Mike Dennison, which aired on KTVH-TV and several CBS stations across Montana: