Student teacher barred from teaching for at least 3 years


(Photo: Warren County Jail)

by Alex Kirkpatrick, Digital Editor

A student teacher who was pursuing a master’s degree in teaching at Simpson College has been denied a teaching license for a minimum of three years after reportedly encouraging an inappropriate relationship with a minor, a state education investigation found.

The Des Moines Register reports that Michael Suplee, of Norwalk, initiated the relationship in May 2015 when he sent inappropriate text messages through Snapchat to a 14-year-old special education student, picked her up from a nearby aquatic center and gave her vodka mixed with soda. The victim was a student in a guided learning class Suplee led that spring at Carlisle High School.

The Iowa Board of Educational Examiners launched an investigation into the incident and found the victim reportedly did not give her consent to having her picture being taken, or to drinking alcohol.

The board sanctioned Suplee, then 25, who was arrested and booked into the Warren County Jail on May 8, 2015, on criminal charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and making alcohol available to a minor, according to jail records. He later posted bail and was released the same day.

The Simpson College education department reportedly told Suplee it would not recommend him for a teaching license after the incident arose and would endeavor to remove him from the master’s program.

Suplee must first undergo a mental health evaluation to determine his ability in maintaining appropriate student-teacher boundaries before he is able to apply for a teaching license after three years.


Information from: The Des Moines Register,