Former North Kitsap High School teacher awaits trial for sexual misconduct with a minor

POULSBO — A North Kitsap School District employee is charged with sexual misconduct with a minor and is awaiting trial, the North Kitsap School District reported in a notification to parents emailed at 1:26 p.m. today.

Assistant Superintendent Chris Willits told Kitsap News Group the accused taught at North Kitsap High School, and that the alleged sexual misconduct with a student occurred “prior to the 2016-17 school year,” but was brought to the attention that school year to district administrators, who notified the Poulsbo Police Department.

When the teacher was charged in June, district administrators met with him and he resigned, Willits said.

“The investigation took a long time,” Willits said. “When charges were filed, we intervened and met with the staff member and had a conversation around our responsibility as a school district. That’s when that person resigned.”

Willits said the student no longer attends North Kitsap High School. He wouldn’t say whether the student graduated or transferred.

The district reported in the notification: “We understand that news of this sort can be very disturbing for families. The safety and well-being of our students is always our highest priority. Please know that the district took all appropriate measures to ensure student safety while the allegations were being investigated. We work to foster an educational environment where appropriate student-staff boundaries are maintained, and we will continue to do so in the future. Any staff member who deviates from their professional obligations in this regard is a disappointment to everyone in the North Kitsap community.”

The notification concluded, “Every staff member in North Kitsap has been trained on maintaining appropriate staff and student boundaries and recognizing potential conduct of concern. Every staff member is currently receiving re-training in the 2017-18 school year. We continually evaluate our training to ensure that the message is clear. This process will continue.”

The notification stated that the district is unable to offer information specific to the allegations or staff member “so as not to interfere with the criminal case.”

It’s the second sexual misconduct case to come to light in three years at North Kitsap schools. The school district was notified in late spring 2015 that a student with special needs sexually abused other students with special needs on different occasions between October 2014 and May 2015 while on a bus to and from school. Willits said buses for students with special needs now have an adult paraprofessional educator on board as a monitor.

— Richard Walker is managing editor of the Kitsap News Group. Contact him at