Saturday, April 12, 2014

Decision Expected Soon in Case of Eastern Idaho Teacher Spat

Posted By on Sat, Apr 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

The case of a veteran teacher whose spat with a rookie went public on social media earlier this year is headed for resolution.

According to the Idaho State Journal, all testimony has been gathered and district officials have begun a series of executive session meetings on the employment of Snake River High School science teacher Elaine Asmus, with a final decision expected by Wednesday, April 23.

Asmus, a 28-year veteran teacher, got into a "heated argument" with first-year science teacher Laura Gabrylczyk in January over some classroom equipment at the Blackfoot area school. The feud spilled over into social media, and when it started to involve students, officials stepped in to mediate. One official notably absent from the mediation process was Superintendent Mark Gabrylczyk, who recused himself from the flap due to his wife's involvement.

Hundreds of community members have testified in the case, with many defending the longtime teacher, but others painting her as a prickly collaborator. Gabrylczyk said she and other teachers have often felt bullied by Asmus in the past.

District attorney Bryce Lloyd, who is acting superintendent, agrees with Asmus' detractors, and in March recommended to trustees that her contract not be renewed for the 2014-2015 school year. 

Asmus is being represented by Idaho Education Association attorney Paul Stark, while Lloyd is represented by Idaho Falls attorney Scott Marotz.

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