Fired school teacher linked to police investigation

HERRIMAN, Utah (News4Utah) - Last November, teacher Ryan White was fired from his job at Herriman High School.

The Jordan School District would not comment about his abrupt dismissal.  A spokesman claimed it doesn't comment on personnel.

According to a spokesman for the school newspaper "The Telegraph" rumors were circulating about White's firing.  News editor Connor Spahr said students suspected sexting between teacher and student may have been at the heart of the school's investigation.  Despite filing Government Records Access Management Act (GRAMA) requests with the district information about his dismissal remained a secret.

But News4Utah learned that his firing may be linked to a Unified Police investigation.  Lt. Brian Lohrke said last September a parent filed a complaint.

"After the parent filed the complaint, we referred it to our special victims unit," said Lt. Lohrke.  "Now the scope of the investigation is inappropriate text messages to a minor."

He said texts between teacher and student allegedly happened during the 2017 school year.  Lt. Lohrke said White taught her in one of his classes.

"My understanding is, it was a student at the school in which the teacher taught at but that student is no longer there," said Lt. Lohrke.

Neither is White according to the Jordan School District.  They fired him in November.  A spokesman said they will not comment about personnel matters but said in general:  

"We wouldn't tolerate any kind of inappropriate behavior of any employee using personal devices or district devices involving a student.  We are here to keep students in a safe educational environment.  We always encourage students to come forward if they feel uncomfortable."

Police said the school's firing of White will not influence their investigation.

"Just because somebody violated a policy an administrative policy that the school sets a standard on it does not mean it's a criminal charge," said Lt. Lohrke.

According to the school newspaper, "The Telegraph" White was dismissed from a charter school.  A GRAMA request seeking information about White's dismissal was granted but it did not offer reasons why he was let go.

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