Sunnyside teacher who taught explicit poem gets paid off

Sunnyside teacher who taught explicit poem gets paid off »Play Video
SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- A check was cut to the former Sunnyside teacher who used sexually graphic lessons in the classroom. The Sunnyside School District came to an agreement with one teacher. And, a deal is planned with a second. It's a story K-I-M-A has covered for almost a year and it even gotten our station sued.

It all started here with racy poems that appalled parents. Nearly a year later, two Sunnyside teachers remain off the job. And now it’s clear Sacha Mike won't be coming back.

Mike made a deal with the district to give up her teaching credentials in Sunnyside, all in exchange for $50,000.

"I'm glad it's resolved, but it’s unfortunate they’ve had to pay to resolve it, when it was so wrong for her to do that,” said Carol Platsman.

Carol Platsman's granddaughter was a student of Sacha Mike's. Platsman remembers being shocked by the poem her granddaughter was asked to read aloud in school.

(((Carol Platsman)))
"Her other grandmother read it online and said ‘oh my gosh that was terrible.’"

Mike and a second teacher known as Maria Preston were both suspended with pay last October. Police investigated the issue as a criminal matter as well.

And for nearly a year, the teachers, and the teachers' union, have fought every effort by KIMA to learn exactly why the teachers were suspended and what kind of reprimand was issued. We could only confirm Maria Preston was in trouble for giving out the sexually-explicit poems. Lawsuits prevent us from finding out exactly why Sacha Mike was reprimanded. And now, the issue between her and the district is settled.

Parents with kids at the school around, see the settlement with Sacha Mike as a double-edged sword. They are happy the issue is resolved but consider it a payoff she doesn't deserve.

“It’s not paying her off to keep her quiet at all?" asked KIMA.
“There is no confidentiality of the settlement, no,” said Rick Cole.

Superintendent Rick Cole told KIMA the district still hopes to settle with Maria Preston.

"Neither side is really saying or agreeing to one thing or another, but we're trying to settle so we both have our interest met,” Cole said.

A deal for Mike, she walks away with a $50,000 payday after months of paid suspension.

A conclusion could come to Preston in the next several weeks.

If you'd like to read the past history on this case or the poems the students were given, you can find all of it at here at kimatv.com.