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SKHS teacher challenges dismissal

A South Kitsap High School language arts teacher is challenging his dismissal following an investigation into alleged charges of sexual misconduct with fellow staff members.

Xavier M. Miranda, 37, has been out of the classroom since November and was revoved in February due to “unprofessional, unacceptable and immoral conduct” with several staff members, according to Bev Cheney, South Kitsap School District superintendent.

The school district, in a document released on Tuesday, alleged Miranda “repeatedly engaged in sexual activities in (his) classroom at SKHS,” and “engaged in coercive sexual relations with SKHS staff members away from school.”

No students were involved and no criminal charges have been filed.

Miranda has admitted to engaging in sexual activity, but insists the enocunters were consensual, according to the school district report.

In addition to the misconduct, the school district also accused Miranda of interfering with its investigation and disregarding instructions not to contact staff members involved in the case.

Miranda has requested a review of the district’s decision, which is his right under state law.

A hearing officer has been assigned to the case, but no date has been set for the hearing.

Miranda is represented in the action by Eric Hansen, a lawyer with the Washington Education Association.

“When a school district is trying to fire a teacher, (the action) does not become final until the hearing officer has made a decision,” said Rich Wood, spokesperson for the WEA. “There is no final resolution (as of yet). If we’re involved, it’s because we believe there’s a chance of success.”

While the decision is under review, the school district is paying Miranda’s teacher’s salary.

“I will tell you this, I am still employed,” Miranda said.

“We’re paying for him, and we’re paying for a substitute,” SK School District spokesperson Amy Warthen confirmed. “It’s a very expensive situation.”

Miranda has worked for the school district for nine years.

His first year, he worked at Marcus Whitman Junior High, and since then has taught at SKHS.

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