An investigation on a Bismarck teacher has come to a close. The report on Gregg Schmidt revealed he made students uncomfortable, made inappropriate comments in the classroom, and had “sexually charged” items in his classroom.
Because we want to insure your students safety, our Malique Rankin looked into the report, and the school’s response.
Three students came forward in November saying Gregg Schmidt made them uncomfortable.
One of the several complaints outlined in the investigation stated a student went to use his hand sanitizer and said it felt differently. Schmidt said it was actually lube and that a former student had given it as a gift.
Another example is during a classroom exercise, Schmidt made all the girls in his class answer whether or not they had a boyfriend, then proceeded to tell them to break up with them. During the investigation he claimed it was part of a sociology class discussion.
Tamara Uselman; Bismarck Superintendent: “So our teacher is on an improvement plan, and based on the progress on the improvement plan, the district will make a decision if and when to have Mr. Schmidt return to the classroom.”
Several “sexually charged” items where found in his classroom, and inappropriate signs that read “hail schmidtler” and “holy schmidt”
Mike Geiermann; ND United Lawyer: “I know that content like that has been in his curriculum for a number of years and without complaint and now there have been some fights about it so he will adjust that cirriculum.”
Schmidt’s lawyer made it seem certain that the teacher would be back in the classroom in no time.
Mike Geiermann; ND United Lawyer: “He’s going to return. The course he has to make and the changes he has to make will occur and he’s going to be back in the classroom very soon.”
This wasn’t the first offense for the social studies teacher.. in 2013 he made racist and sexual comments to students.
In one instance he called two girls whose names began with “D,” “Double D’s”
Tamara Uselman; Bismarck Superintendent: “You know, not to my knowledge. Just the reprimand was made and the directive to change behavior.”
But now the district is taking further action in hopes of event like this never reoccurring.
Tamara Uselman; Bismarck Superintendent: “When we build an improvement plan, we build it with the teacher at the table, it’s a good faith improvement plan. The district believes that if the individual works really hard at it, they have an opportunity to be successful. And so in the end, it really lies on the shoulders of the individual to own the behavior, to see that, in spite of some strengths there are real deficits.”
Gregg Schmidt will be on paid administrative leave until he completes sexual harassment and ethics courses and is cleared by the district.
Superintendent Tamara Uselman said it’s very rare for a teacher in Bismarck Public Schools to be investigated and couldn’t recall the last time it happened.