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Fired Pot-Smoking Teacher Gets His Job Back
The Merrill School Board in Merrill, Wisconsin has voted to reinstate a teacher who was fired earlier this year for smoking marijuana sold to him by an elementary school principal.
Antigo Middle School science teacher Jay Peterson filed a union grievance after he was terminated, reports WSAU.
The Merrill teacher’s union, the School Board, and Peterson issued a “joint” statement on Wednesday, saying they “avoided a costly and uncertain arbitration process” in the matter. The school board accepted the deal on a 5-4 vote.
Under the terms, Peterson will return as a teacher this fall after what will be considered a one-year unpaid leave.
Peterson was given a deferred prosecution agreement, in which his criminal charge of marijuana possession would be dropped if he “stays clean.”
Former elementary school principal John Lund pleaded guilty to a “marijuana manufacturing” charge in an agreement with prosecutors
He said he “turned to marijuana” after his home in Merrill was destroyed by a tornado two years ago. (When, oh when, will responsible, job-holding, taxpaying adults no longer be required to explain and apologize for their choice to use safe, natural cannabis?)
Peterson was one of about 15 people charged last year as part of a reputed “marijuana sales ring” of teachers headed by former Pleasant View Elementary School principal and Antigo High School football coach John Lund.
Lund is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5 on a felony conviction of “manufacturing marijuana” with the intent to sell it. He faces a maximum of three years in prison.
Most of the Antigo and Merrill teachers who were arrested were “caught using pot,” according to WSAU, and were given deferred prosecution agreements similar to Peterson’s.