January 17, 2014

Cash bond set for teacher accused of assaulting sixth-graders at Trent Elementary

By and The Spokesman-Review
 

A cash bond of $20,000 was set Friday for a substitute teacher accused of assaulting several sixth-grade students at Trent Elementary School on Thursday.

Matthew C. Deryan, 46, has also been barred from returning to the East Valley school and from consuming alcohol. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Greg Sypolt said he was concerned that Deryan was in a position of trust when the alleged assaults occurred and noted that he was arrested for driving under the influence in Kootenai County last month.

Deryan is charged with four counts of fourth-degree assault and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. He previously pled guilty in 2011 to making a false or misleading statement to a public official, a misdemeanor, after he was caught altering court documents in his divorce case. During his divorce, which was finalized in 2009, his wife took out a restraining order against him.

According to court documents, students told police that Deryan smelled of alcohol and he shoved and grabbed several students and slapped one boy on the hand. Students said one boy was shoved so hard that he launched into the air and slammed backward into a door.

Deryan was reportedly swearing in English and Spanish and locked the door to prevent students from leaving. One student told police that she saw one boy try to escape the classroom by crawling between Deryan’s legs and he was kicked by Deryan, documents say. Police reported that one student had a red forearm and what appeared to be fingernail marks.

Deryan told police that the students were making everything up because they were upset about getting pink slips in another class, court documents say.

Superintendent John Glenewinkel said Deryan passed a background check in June 2010 conducted through the Washington State Patrol and the FBI.

Substitute teachers must sign a statement each year affirming that they haven’t been charged with crimes including extortion, theft, forgery, manufacturing or distributing drugs, or sexually abusing a minor. Glenewinkel said Deryan signed the form for the 2012-’13 school year and for the 2013-14 school year.

“We’ve also notified West Valley, Central Valley and Coeur d’Alene area schools (about this incident),” Glenewinkel said.

Glenewinkel said he wasn’t sure how many schools Deryan had worked at in the East Valley District since his first paycheck was issued in 2011, but he believed Deryan substituted mostly at the elementary school level.

The superintendent said “nothing that has come to this level” has surfaced in previous evaluations for Deryan as an East Valley substitute teacher.

Kristin Jaudon, spokeswoman for the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, said Deryan is certificated to be a substitute teacher in Washington. If a teacher has a criminal history, the Office of Professional Practices begins an investigation and it is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“We don’t have any complaints on file against him,” she said.


There are four comments on this story. Click here to view comments >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email