Manawa School Board fires teacher
The Manawa School Board voted unanimously to terminate the contract of David Bessette.
Bessette is a special education teacher at Little Wolf Junior/Senior High School. He is accused of misconduct involvilng a student.
The school board held a special meeting Monday, Feb. 8.
According to a press release sent late Tuesday morning, district administrators were made aware of Bessette’s potential misconduct and launched an immediate investigation. He was placed on administrative leave.
The alleged misconduct was not sexually related, the press release reported.
“Based on the evidence collected during the investigation, administration recommended termination of the staff member’s contract.” the press release states.
Evidence against Bessette included security video that showed the incident.
“We all viewed the 10 minute surveillance video,” according to Jeanne Gehrke. She is the mother of the high school student involved in the incident. “It was extremely emotional for my husband and I to view the video.”
The board met in closed session before returning to open session to vote.
“I feel District Administrator Melanie Oppor, Dan Wolfgram and the Manawa Board of Education did an excellent job handling this quickly,” Gehrke said. “As well as the board making a prompt decision after evidence was viewed.”
Gehrke said Manawa police are still investigating the incident.
“This personnel issue is an isolated incident that is in no way a reflection of the high quality services and programs provided to all School District of Manawa students by our talented and caring staff,” the school district press release said. “Rest assured there is no ongoing threat to staff and student safety. Moreover, the district will continue to be proactive and remain vigilant when it comes to the protection of District staff and students.”