- Associated Press - Thursday, September 11, 2014

SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) - A northern Idaho middle school teacher has retired after sending inappropriate text messages of a sexual nature to a student.

Former Sandpoint Middle School teacher Rod Swerin was given a leave of absence in August, and has now transitioned into retirement. Lake Pend Oreille School District Superintendent Shawn Woodward declined to provide details on the change, saying he wasn’t at liberty to discuss personnel matters.

“I can tell you he’s not coming back,” Woodward told the Bonner County Daily Bee (https://bit.ly/1ACn87f).

Swerin, a district employee for 17 years, faces no criminal charges for the texts. Sandpoint Police investigated the allegations in June, a few weeks after the messages were sent, according to a copy of the police report obtained by the newspaper.

Police wrote in the report that the texts include Swerin describing a dream he had of two students, one clothed and one naked.

“The text messages were highly inappropriate and disturbing to me,” Bonner County Prosecutor Louis Marshall said.

However, Marshall said the context of the messages did not meet the elements necessary to charge Swerin with using a device to entice a child, a felony.

Police wrote in the report that Swerin was remorseful and embarrassed and said the messages were the result of drinking too much while on a trip out of state.

Swerin says the texts were an isolated incident and the result of joking around that went too far.

“I did something stupid that I shouldn’t have done,” Swerin said.

Swerin said he voluntarily took early retirement to avoid being put in a position where he was forced to resign.

“I didn’t want, after 30 years of teaching, for it to come to that,” he said.


Information from: Bonner County (Idaho) Daily Bee, https://www.bonnercountydailybee.com

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