John Heim Interview, Play Of The Week: Student Statutory Rape and Nude Teacher Photos (Remarkable Principal #5)

Dr. John Heim

Dr. Heim is executive director of the Kansas Association of School Boards.  Dr. Heim came to KASB after serving as the superintendent for the Emporia Public Schools for 13 years.  Prior to that he was the executive director of the Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas (ESSDACK) in Hutchinson. He also has been a superintendent in El Dorado and the Wichita County Schools at Leoti.  He was a building administrator in the Lawrence and El-Saline school districts.  He began his education career as a history and government teacher in 1981.

KASB, headquartered in Topeka, is the state organization that provides services, training and resources for local boards of education.  KASB members are governing boards for unified school districts, community colleges, area vocational-technical schools, special education cooperatives and interlocals, and regional service centers. KASB assists local board of education with professional development and goal setting, policy development, research, legislative advocacy, superintendent searches, insurance services and legal issues.

Dr. Heim has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in educational administration from Fort Hays State University, and a doctorate in educational administration from Kansas State University. He currently is an adjunct faculty member in The Teachers College at Emporia State University. He also has been a guest lecturer at Wichita State University and the University of Kansas.

Dr. Heim was selected as the 2008 Kansas Superintendent of the Year by the Kansas Association of School Administrators. He received the Outstanding Service Award from the United School Administrators of Kansas in 2006 and the Communicator of the Year Award from the Kansas School Public Relations Association in 2001.

Dr. Doug Moeckel is the Deputy Director at KASB. His primary duties include board of education training, superintendent dougsearches and strategic planning. Dr. Moeckel’s experiences include 36 years in education including administration, teaching and coaching. His administrative experience includes time as superintendent of schools in Ellsworth as well as building level leadership at the secondary and elementary level.

Dr. Moeckel received his Bachelor’s Degree from Kansas State University, Master’s from Fort Hays State University and Doctorate from Kansas State University

This Week’s What would you do?

An 18 year old male student comes to your office and says he needs help because he is about to be charged with statutory rape.  Upon further discussion, you find out that he has had sex with his 15 year old girlfriend and her father has found out.  Her father intends to contact law enforcement this morning and the student expects to be arrested later in the day.  You find out that the male has not informed his parents, with whom he lives, and doesn’t want you to do so either.  What would you do?


I’ve had several comments and responses to this situation.  Most said to give the 18 year old the opportunity to tell his parents and inform the student of your obligations.  In such cases, if the student refuses and lives with this parents, I call the parent and tell them that we have a problem at school but the student refuses to let me tell you of the situation.  You, as a certified school employee, have a statutory obligation to inform law enforcement that a student, the 15 year old, has been sexually assaulted, or abused, even though the sex may have been consensual because she hasn’t achieved the age of consent.  Encourage the 18 year old to tell the truth to the authorities and answer only the questions asked.  He does have a right to legal counsel when questioned by law enforcement as a suspect, and you should make him aware of that.  I always try to tell students of my statutory obligations at our first assembly covering school rules and procedures and again if I suspect that a student may be about to tell me of crime which they have committed.   There are several complications to this situations – 1) the 18 year old student who has committed a crime, 2) the 15 year old “victim”, 3) refusal to tell parent, 4) your obligations, 5) if the 18 year old student is convicted, he will be listed as a sexual predator, 6) Kansas Statute 72-8901 allows the school to suspend the 18 year old.  The girl’s father may push for such action.

Next Week’s What would you do?

A California teacher has been fired for posting topless photos and other sexually suggestive pictures of herself on Facebook.  Although the pictures were not posted during contract time, she did use the school owned computer to post them.  The pictures have been accessed by students in school during school time.  The pictures have since been removed.  What would you have done?


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