Two issues arise in Roseburg School District within last year

Two major issues have happened within the last year, but it's unclear if either played a role in Superintendent's Gerry Washburn being placed on paid administrative leave.

Posted: Aug 10, 2018 7:18 PM
Updated: Aug 10, 2018 7:22 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg School District has had to deal with two major controversies over the last year.

Those issues are regarding the high school volleyball team last fall, and recently the treatment of kids with disabilities.

Both happened before Superintendent Gerry Washburn was placed on paid administrative leave.

RELATED: ROSEBURG SUPERINTENDENT PUT ON LEAVE, EXPECTED TO BE FIRED

The school district is currently being investigated for the most recent of those incidents.

The Oregon Department of Education Civil Rights Division is investigating the district in regards to a complaint filed by a parent.

In that complaint, Katie Thompson states that her daughter, who is prone to seizures and has developmental delays, is being denied a proper education.

Thompson said there have been multiple times that her daughter has been removed from class anywhere from five to 25 minutes early at the end of the school day to be taken to a school bus.

“I am very well-aware that there are children who have those needs,” Thompson said. “My child does not. She’s very capable of walking through the halls, she’s very capable of getting on the bus and seated quickly, and ready to disembark.”

Thompson said she just wants her daughter and others who don’t need that extra time to enjoy a full school day.

“If it rules in the favor of the students, then the students will be able to possibly get compensatory education, which means that they will be able to get some of the education hours back that were lost over the last school year,” Thompson said.

In another incident, Superintendent Gerry Washburn was criticized by nearly a dozen parents at a February school board meeting for his recommendation last fall to not renew high school volleyball coach Danielle Haskett's contract.

Haskett had been the subject of a controversy within the team, where several players expressed Haskett had used foul language, name calling, and they felt they had been bullied to resign from the team.

KEZI cannot confirm that either of these incidents had any weight on the school board's decision to place Washburn on paid administrative leave.

We have reached out to the school board and Washburn for details on that decision. Both have declined to comment at this time.

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