Michele Taylor's teaching suspension upheld by several key factors

Michele Taylor's teaching suspension upheld by several key factors

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Eleven factors lay out an administrative judge's final decision to keep Michele Taylor off the job for the upcoming school year.

The East Valley P.E. teacher was once charged with sexual misconduct for an alleged relationship with a student. A jury acquitted her two years ago but Taylor has not returned to the classroom.

The judge agreed Taylor violated district policies with action's serious enough to deserve the suspension.


They include exchanging more than a thousand text messages with a student at all times of the day. Some of those texts happened while she was drinking and revealed personal information about her marriage.

The judge said the texts led to "falling grades" for the student who received them. He ended up transferring schools.

The judge went on to say the entire East Valley class of 2012 had a high school experience tainted with "discord, suspicion, confusion and investigations."

The decision states Taylor showed a disregard for the student's health, safety and welfare. She treated the boy as "confidante" rather than her student.

The judge also felt this wasn't a one-time mistake. She wrote Taylor had a problem, and "a pattern behavior of not following rules and procedures." And felt Taylor disregarded policies and lacked honesty and integrity when dealing with her principal.

The ruling is not binding. Taylor may once again petition for a judge to reconsider the case.

If the suspension sticks, Taylor would need to meet certain conditions before her teaching certificate could be reinstated.

But in this decision, the factors are clear: despite being found not guilty of criminal charges, a judge believed she was far from innocent in her behavior.

KIMA contacted Taylor and her attorney to see if they wanted to speak. They both declined comment.

Taylor has ten days to file a petition for a judge to reconsider the latest ruling. She will remain on paid administrative leave until that deadline.