A Bridgeport music teacher has resigned after a public squabble with administrators and school board.
Bridgeport Superintendent Chuck Lambert confirmed that High School Band Director Joe Jensen resigned his position late last week. The Board of Education formally accepted the resignation at a special meeting held Saturday morning.
“I cannot discuss details of the personnel files of school district employees. However, I am permitted to disclose that I recommended that the board of education cancel the employment of Joe Jensen based on significant employment-related misconduct,” Lambert said. “After he received the summary of the evidence which would have been presented at the hearing on this proposed action before the board of education, Mr. Jensen chose to resign rather than go forward with the hearing.”
The issue became public when Jensen rallied a group of community members to attend the November 13th school board meeting to address their concerns to the board. However, Nebraska law requires employees to request a hearing, and have that scheduled with the school board. Since no such hearing had been requested, the board was unable to hear, discuss, or act on any matters involving his employment at that meeting.
Jensen then requested the formal hearing, which was scheduled for Saturday, but made the choice to resign.
“I am pleased that Mr. Jensen chose to avoid the expense and distraction of a formal hearing, and I wish that Mr. Jensen’s actions had not forced me to recommend the cancellation of his employment,” Lambert added. “I am pleased that Bridgeport has been able to hire a quality replacement for Mr. Jensen and we wish Mr. Jensen luck in his future endeavors.”
Lambert confirmed that two retired music educators will serve as a replacement for the rest of the year. Sharon Hoffman is currently teaching for the rest of this semester, and Dave Rischling will teach for the second semester.