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Alsea schools: Thielman is accused of creating a hostile work environment | Local

Alsea schools: Thielman is accused of creating a hostile work environment | Local

Three Alsea School Board administrators filed formal complaints against Marc Thielman this Week. They cited hostile work environments, illegal firing practices, and disregard for other viewpoints.

Mid-Valley Media was able to obtain copies of the complaints. They were filed by Katie Sapp – former assistant superintendent – elementary principal Shannon Rice and Travis Rice – the districts technology/communications manager. Travis Rice was placed on administrative leave paid for the day he filed his complaint.

Together, the complaints allege that staff are afraid to express any opinion against Thielman is running for Oregon governorWhen he announced that his school district would be regaining local control, he was in the national spotlight. no longer require maskingIn opposition to the current state protocols

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These allegations portray Thielman’s character as a bully, a man with a temper, and someone who is often distracted and even inappropriate. All three stated that they feel unsafe in the current workplace.

Thielman refused to comment when Thielman was reached for comment.

Unworkable conditions

Sapp, who has been working for the district since 2012 signed a separation agreement with it that was reportedly in effect at the Nov. 17 board meetings. Sapp, however, questions the legality. She claims she can’t find any evidence that the board authorized the agreement in public. She also claims that she was not invited to the meeting, which is her legal right.

She names Thielman as the District Board of Directors in her complaint. This is not the first time she’s brought up concerns to the board. In October, she reported ongoing sexual harassment, intimidation, and bullying by Thielman, acting board chair Jeff Davis, and Risteen Follett, a board member.

The complaint also indicates that she had a complaint against Keenan Elber (head of maintenance), for creating a hostile working environment. However, it doesn’t explain why.

Travis Rice supported Sapps claims in his complaint. He cited a specific incident that was so outlandish that I got up from my seat to make sure there was no physical contact between Sapp, one of her subordinates.

‘Utterly disgusting’

Travis Rice also accused Thielman of making anti-LGBTQ comments during a Facebook live video. The comment was followed by a personal story about his wife and sex.

Travis Rice wrote that this was absolutely disgusting and made me feel so uncomfortable that I wanted to leave the room.

Travis Rice stated that his paranoia has resulted in him becoming paranoid. He added that Thielman and Nathan Roberts, Technology Administrators, are now trying to make me disappear from technology-related matters and possibly track any communications I make.

Shannon Rice, the administrator who filed the only complaint this week and was not placed on paid administrative leaves, stated that she feels unsafe sharing her opinions with anyone unless they are in agreement with Thielmans. She stressed that this is true for all employees, particularly female employees.

Shannon Rice complained that he did not speak to all staff and admin about changing the masking rules. When I raise concerns or complaints to him, as is his request for, he ignores them and makes matters political.

Thielman, who was against the Oregon Health Authority’s January rules, stopped enforcing the use of masks in classrooms. Failing to release COVID-19 relief funds and being finedOregon Occupational Safety and Health.

The superintendent and his school board were irritated by the decision. School board members are often on Thielmans’s side. The most recent school board meeting was held. Directors complained that Thielman did not explain to themThey knew that removing masks from their lives would be costly. Thielman refuted that claim.

Shannon Rice stated that the race to be governor has had an effect on the running the schools. She also complained about Thielmans campaign manager as well as the presence of bodyguards and guards on campus.

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Shannon Rice wrote that Marc had told me that he would set me on fire if I challenged him. You could easily cut through the tension in this place with a knife, to be more precise.

Thielman stated to Mid-Valley Media that he and the board could not discuss personnel matters during an open complaint process and would not speak to the media until the investigation is complete.

Each school district handles the public complaint process in its own way. According to Alsea’s website the superintendent would normally conduct an inquiry into the complaint. However, since these three were filed against Thielman the board chair Ron Koetz will examine it on behalf of his board. The findings will be presented to the board during open session. They will then decide on any actions to take.

Four Mid-Valley Media inquiries to Koetz were not answered.

Joanna Mann is responsible for education at Mid-Valley Media. Joanna Mann can also be reached at 541-812-6076, or Joanna.Mann@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter via @joanna_mann_ 

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