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Photo of sleeping Mustang substitute teacher investigated

A ninth-grader is suspended after taking a picture of a substitute teacher who appears to be napping.
BY VALLERY BROWN vbrown@opubco.com Published: January 25, 2012
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— Local school district officials suspended at least one ninth-grader and are looking into the actions of a substitute teacher whose photograph was snapped in a classroom while he appeared to be napping.

A school faculty member saw the photograph on a social media website and alerted the principal at Mustang Mid-High School, a Mustang School District spokeswoman said. School officials met Friday about the matter.

The photograph shows a closed-eyed man reclining behind a classroom desk. He was apparently substituting for a biology teacher at the school. It's not clear if the photograph was taken during class time.

Cellphones are allowed on school grounds, but cannot be used during class, school officials said.

“We understand the importance of having these devices,” Mustang School District spokeswoman Mary Leaver said. “But we have to maintain a learning environment.”

Family members of the suspended student confirmed the suspension, but declined comment.

Officials wouldn't disclose the names of students they think might be involved in taking the picture and posting it on the Internet. They declined to provide further information on the substitute teacher.

Leaver said administrators are investigating the actions of the substitute and would not comment further, calling it a personnel issue. Leaver said disciplinary action against students is at the discretion of the principal and not discussed publicly.

“It's a very unusual set of circumstances,” Leaver said. “It's the time and age that we live in.”

District substitutes are at-will employees and can be removed from the support personnel roster if a recommendation is made to the school board.

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