Archive for Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Lansing teacher charged

January 12, 2000

The Lansing High School band teacher has been ordered to appear in municipal court on two misdemeanor charges in connection with an incident last month at the school.

Robert Duffer, who lives in Lawrence, was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior and child endangerment after a female student walked into the office of the bandroom and allegedly saw Duffer sitting in a chair, with his pants around his ankles, according to Capt. Alan Collins, acting police chief.

The Lansing school board last week adopted a resolution notifying Duffer that the board planned to fire him. If Duffer does not request an administrative hearing by next Wednesday, his contract with the district will be terminated, according to board clerk Paula Mengel.

In the meantime, Duffer, who has worked for the Lansing school district since fall 1987, has been suspended with pay.

The board's written resolution said the board planned to fire Duffer because of "inappropriate behavior by having shirt pulled up and trousers down in the presence of a female student on school premises, which because of prior incidents of inappropriate behavior with or in the presence of students, including other reported incidents of having trousers lowered and because of disregard of prior directives to avoid situations of being alone with an individual student, to dress appropriately and to have teacher aide present when students are present."

Jan Jorgensen, acting school superintendent, said she could not provide much detail about the circumstances that prompted the district to make the prior directives to Duffer.

"Due to several unfortunate situations now and in the past, it has become necessary for the board to pass this resolution," she said. "Because of the possibility of litigation, we're not able to divulge much more."

Duffer is scheduled to appear in municipal court for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26.

Michael Kelly, a Leavenworth attorney representing Duffer, said he could not comment on the municipal court case.

Marge Blaufuss, an attorney with Kansas-National Education Association, who also is representing Duffer, was not available Tuesday.

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