DIETRICH • Dietrich science teacher Tim McDaniel sent his first response letter to a state education ethics commission.
The letter is a response to seven allegations facing McDaniel that the state’s Professional Standards Commission is investigating.
In March, four parents with students in McDaniel’s biology class filed a complaint with the commission. Allegations include sharing private student information, teaching sex education and different forms of birth control, and promoting a political candidate while on school property.
In his letter, McDaniel denies he did anything wrong and explains this is the first complaint he’s received during his teaching career.
“In all my 17 years of teaching, I have yet to get a complaint. This is the first time I have ever had an issue with what I teach and how,” McDaniel wrote in the letter. “I still stand by my statement that I haven’t done anything wrong.
“This school is notorious for letting students and parents run off good teachers.”
McDaniel told the Times-News that two of the parents contacted him after filing the complaint to tell him that they would remove their name from the complaint. However, just one day later, McDaniel said the parents contacted him saying that they couldn’t remove their name from the complaint without getting legal counsel.
“So they’re not going to remove their name,” he said.
Melissa McGrath, spokeswoman for the Idaho State Department of Education, said once the commission decides to investigate a complaint, the case is no longer in the hands of the person who filed the complaint.
“Once (the complaint) is with the commission, they are no longer a party to all of that,” McGrath said.
While she couldn’t confirm if the commission is investigating the complaint, she said that neither the department nor the commission is allowed to provide legal advice.
If someone called looking for legal counsel about a complaint, they would tell that person to talk to a lawyer, she said.
The parents who filed the complaint declined to comment when contacted by the Times-News.
McDaniel said he doesn’t know when he’ll hear back from the state commission. Until then, he will continue to teach biology.
He said he’s now taking more precautions to prepare for lessons. For example, for the first time since he started teaching, McDaniel sent out permission slips to teach about the reproductive system in fish.
“I have to watch my back,” he said. “I don’t know how this is going to end.”