District notified state about teacher misconduct

District notified state about teacher misconduct

PUEBLO, Colo. - Pueblo City Schools administrators said they contacted the Colorado Department of Education when a former teacher was placed on paid administrative leave.

Administrators did not initially release that information to KRDO-TV when it began asking the district questions last November.

Former South High School teacher Larisa Oringdulph resigned Nov. 7, 2013 after admitting to kissing and sexting with a student. She still holds a Colorado Professional Teacher license valid through March 2017. The Colorado Department of Education wouldn't comment on whether it plans to revoke Oringdulph's license. 

School board member Rose Holloway said she also wrote a letter to CDE asking them to conduct an investigation. 

Holloway, along with the rest of the board, is reevaluating district policies in light of Oringdulph's resignation. Specifically, the board is making changes to its staff conduct policy. 

Dr. Patty Milner, who was elected to the board in November 2013, wants people to be protected from being retaliated against if they report allegations. "I believe that the policy becomes a statement of our values and it's important to state that our values are that we respect the right of someone to report something that they are concerned about," she said.

In November 2013, KRDO-TV interviewed a student who said when she approached South High School Principal Aaron Bravo about Oringdulph, she was told to drop it or she'd be suspended from her sports team. The student asked to remain anonymous. Milner did not reference that during Tuesday's school board meeting. 

Holloway said the public needs to be better about reporting allegations. 

"If we don't know that something has happened how can we follow up? We can't. So either the public has to let us know or the staff has to let us know," Holloway said.

The board will meet again Feb. 28. A final decision could be reached then but board member Phyllis Sanchez doesn't want to be rushed into making a decision. 

"I would rather that as a board we take our time and look at this thoroughly and if it takes more than a couple of readings that we get it right rather than get it done quickly," Sanchez said.

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