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Springfield teacher resigns after fighting for her job back

Jennifer Crouch was fired in June of 2017 after being arrested for cocaine possession and DUII.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 5:15 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A Springfield teacher convicted of cocaine possession and DUII has resigned just months after getting her job back, and she's getting tens of thousands of dollars in back pay.

Jennifer Crouch was fired by Springfield Public Schools in June of 2017 after her arrest. She appealed the decision and, ultimately, she won. Crouch began teaching again at Briggs Middle School in May of this year.

Crouch officially resigned in June. Jenna McCulley, a spokesperson for Springfield Public Schools, said the resignation agreement leaves Crouch with $48,000 back pay.

Police pulled Crouch over in March of 2017 after she left the Cinemark 17 in Springfield. They said she was drunk and had cocaine in her car.

The school district initially voted to fire Crouch on three grounds for dismissal. Being convicted of a felony or crime, immorality and the possible loss of her teaching license. However, the Fair Dismissal Appeals Board said none of these would stand.

Crouch is attending drug court and also attended an intoxicated driving diversion program, which means she won't have a conviction on her record when she graduates from drug court Aug. 3.

Also, the use of cocaine couldn't be proven to be immoral. The Appeals Board generally defines immoral as being "excessively selfish and directly harmful to others,” and they couldn’t prove that Crouch’s drug use harmed anyone but herself.

Lastly, there was no proof that her license would be revoked. That would only happen if she was "grossly unfit" to teach or had engaged in “gross neglect of duty” relating to her profession. In response to this, she offered testimony of parents and a student who said they would not be concerned if she returned to the classroom.

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