Latest word from the state about former substitute teacher case

Published: Nov. 19, 2019 at 5:22 PM CST
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The Department of Public Instruction told 7 Investigates it "cannot discuss specifics of ongoing investigations," when asked about if it will make policy changes due to what a specific incident revealed.

Zachary Robins was able to continue working with children in the D.C. Everest School District while being investigated for child sexual assault in the Wausau School District in October.

7 Investigates learned even if his termination had been reported to DPI, the department would not have known to contact the D.C. Everest School District because Robins was hired after schools reported their employees for the year.

Robins obtained his substitute teaching license in January, 2019 and was hired at both districts shortly after. School districts report who is working for them annually in the fall, so Robins was not reported as being employed by the districts during the 2018-2019 school year reporting period and the 2019-2020 school year rosters were not yet up.

7 Investigates asked DPI if it plans to track substitute teachers after this incident. DPI Communications Director Benson Gardner sent this response:

"While DPI continuously looks to improve procedures and policies, we are unable to discuss the specifics of ongoing investigations. On a general level, we encourage all school districts to report suspected teacher misconduct if there is any doubt whether a report is mandatory, and to review staffing agency agreements to understand how employees placed by those agencies are selected, vetted, and monitored."

7 Investigates will ask this question again once the investigation into Robins' license is complete.

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