Allegations of sexual harassment shook the school board during its monthly meeting on Tuesday when a former student claimed that he and a friend—then a senior at Wood River—were propositioned by a female staffer at the high school in 2018.
The employee, who was not named, still works at the school—and the investigation that followed the alleged incident has sparked three internal grievances and a pair of threatened lawsuits from one of the former student’s mother, Shannon Maza, director of human resources for the Blaine County School District.
Turner Maza, who graduated in 2017, told the trustees that he and a friend, a student at the time, were invited into the employee’s house for sex after driving the woman home from a party in Bellevue on June 2, 2018.
Maza said the woman was unable to drive herself after the party; according to his mother, he was instructed by the host to take her home. His statement outlined a sexually explicit conversation during the ensuing ride.
“Upon arriving at the current Wood River High School classified employee’s house, my friend and I exited the car to say goodbye to her,” he told the board during the public comment period of its regular May meeting. “In the process, she continued to proposition both of us about how we should come inside, and that no one was home. My friend and I declined all offers and left.”
They told Shannon Maza the next morning. In an interview with the Idaho Mountain Express, Shannon Maza said that she brought the allegations to administrators at Wood River High School the following Monday, June 4. Both Mazas said that neither they, nor the other witness, were contracted by the district for questioning during its investigation.
In an email Wednesday night, School District spokeswoman Heather Crocker told the Idaho Mountain Express that the BCSD fully vetted Maza’s claim.
“The district has been and continues to be vigilant about student safety,” Crocker said. “Our understanding is that the former student graduated in 2017 and the alleged event took place in 2018. When the district became aware of the allegation the district conducted a thorough investigation despite the fact that the individual was no longer a student when the alleged event took place.
“Any violation of the Blaine County School District employee Code of Conduct may be cause for immediate discipline up to and including dismissal of employment.”
For more on this story, see Friday’s edition of the Idaho Mountain Express.