Mary Beth Haglin was fired from her job as a substitute teacher at Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa back in May for what school officials believed was an inappropriate relationship with a student. She was charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee and turned herself into police on Friday. She now faces up to two years in prison.
But because of a flaw in the system, the Grant Wood Area Education Agency, which oversees the database that many metro districts use to select and schedule substitute teachers, didn’t receive word of Haglin’s dismissal until almost a full month later on June 14, KCRG News reported. So, Haglin, 24, still had a valid substitute teacher listing with the agency and was used at middle and elementary schools in Cedar Rapids, Linn-Mar and College Community from May 18th until the end of the school year. And this despite a criminal investigation of Haglin having been well underway.
“As soon as that notification came through that there was an investigation she was pulled from the system,” said Grant Wood AEA spokesman Renee Nelson. “So that piece happened and it worked. We have an issue with the timeliness and we’ll improve upon that.”
Marcia Hughes, community relations supervisor with Cedar Rapids Schools, said the delay in notifying Grant Wood AEA to pull Haglin from all substitute lists was due to a “miscommunication.” On Monday Hughes added that the district’s Department of Human Resources failed to follow up on a notification by Washington High School. She said the district is now taking steps to insure something like this never happens again.
Haglin, meanwhile, was released from the Linn County Jail Saturday and ordered to have no further contact with the 17-year-old student and could also be reportedly forced to register with state’s sex offender registry for up to 10 years. In an interview Monday, Haglin said she was never told she was being prohibited to teach at any other schools, so she applied to work at Harrison and Madison elementary schools shortly after being told to leave Washington High.
“They didn’t ban me,” she said. “They never actually said they were banning me from school grounds, they never said they were banning me from working at any other school, they never said they were banning me from thus-and-so many feet of any school. They never said any of that.”