District reacts to charges against former North High band director

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Former North High School Band Director Lucas Sursely has been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee.

The 34-year old told police that he had sent explicit text messages to a 15-year old student, as well as a picture sometime last month. The school board had gotten word of the allegations and arrest on Friday and Sursely resigned soon there after. The board then met with parents and school officials on Monday to discuss the matter and inform everybody of the ongoing investigation.

“The community should expect us to immediately act up on any allegations that are being made and in this case this is exactly what we did,” Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman said.

The District let him resign because if fired, Sursely would have been suspended but still on the payroll until the termination process would have been completed. While Teacher’s Union representative were outraged about what happened, they also highlighted the fact that this is never the norm.

“”They have integrity.They keep them safe,” Bruce Lear, Director of the Iowa State Education Association said. “Somehow  to say everyone or even a high percentage, are folks that shouldn’t be teaching is wrong.”

Lear also mentioned that one of their key concerns has been educating young teachers about ethics, barriers and how to deal with students on a social level. Something that has become extremely important with Social Media being a constant presence in the class room. And while texting or Facebook can be used as a teaching tool, it also brings concern.”

“If something does occur it is known a lot more because of social media and there is an outcry.” Department of Education Chair at Briar Cliff University, Theresa Engle said. “We do discourage them from participating in social media and texting with their students. It’s too fine of a line to cross and it’s best to not do it all.”

 

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