By Victor Skinner
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – A Grand Forks school teacher who lied to officials about troubling allegations in a previous school district was fired when his new district learned he was accused of passing sexual messages to a minor.
Jeremy Patrick Thompson, 28, told Grand Forks officials he resigned from his prior teaching job with the Adams-Edmore school district to “follow his new wife to Grand Forks to seek employment,” Grand Forks Superintendent Larry Nybladh told inforum.com.
Grand Forks school leaders fired Thompson this week when they learned the real reason he left Adams-Edmore: he was accused of sending sexually inappropriate messages and photos to a former 12-year-old female student, ValleyNewsLive.com reports.
Adams-Edmore Superintendent Jim Larson said he asked Thompson to resign after he was caught, and the teacher was gone by the end of the day. Larson told the news site he notified Walsh County Social Services about the incident and the next day the social services agency “ended their investigation and said nothing more can be done at this time.”
But Grand Forks officials allege they checked with the Adams-Edmore school district as part of an extensive pre-employment background check and received no red flags.
The Grand Forks case is only the latest example of how school and union bureaucracy allows alleged sexual predators to escape their problems in one school district by simply gaining employment in another. It happens regularly across the country and in many cases school and union officials conspire to keep the public in the dark, by agreeing to keep the allegations quiet if the teacher simply moves along.
It’s a sickening practice that desperately needs to be addressed. Fortunately in the Grand Forks case, the teacher’s alleged misdeed appears to have caught up with him.
Thompson now faces two felony charges for using a computer in an attempt to lure someone under 15, both of which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, inforum.com reports.
Thompson was a “paraeducator” in Grand Forks and is now on unpaid leave.