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  1. Pasco

Pasco teacher suspended for jamming cell phone signals at school

Published Jun. 2, 2015

Fivay High School science teacher Dean Liptak wanted his students to pay attention to his lessons, not focus on their cell phones.

Persuasion seemed not to work. So Liptak brought a signal jammer to school, activating it in his classroom March 31 through April 2.

"I wanted to fix the cell phone problem in my class," Liptak told a district investigator.

He reportedly said he never intended to cause problems, and that he thought the jammers were allowed as long as they were not intended for malicious purposes. District officials were not amused.

"Not only did your actions potentially violate federal law, you posed a serious risk to critical safety communications as well as the possibility of preventing others from making 9-1-1 calls," superintendent Kurt Browning wrote in a letter informing Liptak of his five-day unpaid suspension.

The disciplinary action also came with a reprimand and a last chance agreement. Any future similar poor judgment could result in a recommendation of termination, Browning wrote.

Liptak previously received a letter of warning in 2013 over using a worksheet that included "inappropriate content."

He did not contest the suspension, which the School Board approved Tuesday.