Fired teacher loses arbitration
Riverside educator admitted to sex with two former students
The Riverside School District teacher and football coach who had sexual relations with two former female students has lost an appeal to return to work.
An arbitrator determined Allen Martin was legitimately fired and that restoring him to his teaching job could harm the district’s reputation, according to documents from the American Arbitration Association.
Riverside Superintendent Roberta Kramer said she is glad the arbitration has concluded. “We have a really supportive community, and a great board, and we are just really looking to move forward and want to focus on kids and their learning,” she said.
Martin, a former Advanced Placement history teacher and football coach, remains under investigation by the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, officials said. That office could suspend or revoke his license.
The arbitrator’s decision on whether he can return to work at the Chattaroy high school is final.
Martin’s attorney, Kevan Montoya, declined comment when contacted Thursday.
Martin had taught at the school for 25 years. He came under investigation by the district in September 2011 after fliers were posted around the high school football field alleging that he was having an affair with a 21-year-old former student. Additionally, Kramer received “an email from the Educational Service District that the ESD office had received an anonymous phone call alleging that Mr. Martin had affairs with a number of students or former students,” the arbitration documents state.
Kramer asked an investigator from the district’s insurance company to look into the allegations.During the investigation, Martin admitted to a second affair with a 25-year-old former teacher’s aide. He told district officials that he and the young woman had sex on his desk in his classroom on Memorial Day in 2010, when school was not in session.
Martin told the investigators he was fulfilling the woman’s sexual fantasy. “He said the classroom was locked. When the sexual intercourse concluded, he disinfected his desk with cleaner and a towel,” according to the documents.
He also stated he had not initiated the relationships with either of the women; he was remorseful and said he wouldn’t do it again, the documents state.
In addition to the teacher’s actions and possible harm to the district’s reputation, the district argued during arbitration that Martin’s “ability to teach female students would be impaired; and some parents would not want him to teach their children.”
Jess Spencer, speaking on behalf of a group called Parents of Riverside Students, said Thursday that “justice was served” by the arbitrator’s decision.
“In a nutshell, you cannot condone nor allow that kind of behavior in a school district. I have not found a single parent or community member who thinks otherwise,” he said.
“People were blown away that it was even an arbitration case. People said they could not believe this guy thought he should get his job back.”