Western Mennonite School teacher arrestedby Everett J. Thomas
“Western Mennonite School was shaken by the allegations that one of its high school teachers, Matthew Yoder, was accused of inappropriate contact with a high school student,” says a release posted on the Salem, Ore., school’s website.
The release notes that information regarding this situation was made public, and the school asks for “continued support, prayers and encouraging words during this difficult time.”
According to the McMinnville, Ore., Police Department, Yoder, 29, a resident of McMinnville, had engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female.
According to the police report, the school administration initiated the investigation. On Feb. 14, McMinnville Police arrested Yoder, and he was lodged in Yamhill County Correctional Facility pending arraignment on the following charges: five counts of sex abuse in the second degree, one count of rape in the third degree, one count of sodomy in the third degree and one count of coercion.
According to a Feb. 15 post on the news site OregonLive.com, Western Mennonite School fired Yoder on Feb. 14 after learning about the suspected abuse. The site also quoted the school’s principal, Darrel Camp, as saying the school is shaken.
“It’s unexpected,” Camp said in the post. “Someone who’s trusted and an educator. You don’t expect that.”
Yoder, who taught social studies and was hired four years ago, was one of the school’s 20 full-time teachers, said OregonLive.
Western started school on Feb. 15 with a special chapel to talk about the recent allegations, says the school’s website, and to talk about the student’s feelings and where the school goes from the experience.
After the chapel, students were dismissed to their small groups to continue the discussions and to pray together.
“It was amazing to see students supporting each other, standing together, and praying for those involved in the allegations,” says the release.
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