February 15, 1997 in City

District Probes Complaint After Teacher In Car Wreck Teacher Was Taking Students Home To Bake Cookies When Collision Occurred

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Spokane school officials are investigating complaints a teacher wrecked her car while taking students to her house to bake Valentine’s cookies.

A 13-year-old girl ended up with whiplash, say her parents, who are outraged because Sacajawea Middle School officials didn’t immediately notify them or seek medical care.

It began Thursday when the teacher, Susan Francis, decided to take two girls in her special education class home to teach a unit on measuring.

District 81 officials said parents signed permission forms at the beginning of the school year allowing them to go on field trips.

Driving to her home, Francis collided with another car in an intersection, said Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson. Francis’ car was slightly damaged, and after talking with the other driver, she went on to her house.

Alfredo Llamedo said no one told him about the accident until his daughter, Mandy, came home and complained she wasn’t feeling well.

“No one ever took any action or concern for the health and well-being of my daughter,” Llamedo said. “It’s just unacceptable behavior.”

Health workers at Sacred Heart Medical Center’s emergency room treated Mandy for whiplash, Llamedo said.

Francis didn’t return telephone calls for comment Friday.

Llamedo said he and his wife, Lisa, are also angry because they expected field trips to the post office and library - not cookie-baking sessions in a teacher’s kitchen.

“I don’t even know if this woman has insurance,” he said.

Francis was put on administrative leave with pay Friday while school officials tried to piece together what happened, Anderson said.

Late Friday, he said the investigation was continuing. “I really haven’t formed a judgment yet.

“We always want parents to know what we’re up to,” Anderson said. “I don’t know whether there was a breakdown in communication or what.”

, DataTimes

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