Oregon’s Teacher of the Year rehired to be refired

Brett Bigham was fired earlier this month for missing too much class time, but he claims it is because of his sexual orientation

The 2015 Oregon Education Association Teacher of the Year Brett Bigham, a transistion skills teacher at Multnomah Education Service District, was terminated after being put on administrative leave March 20, 2015 (Portland Tribune/Jaime Valdez)
The 2015 Oregon Education Association Teacher of the Year Brett Bigham, a transistion skills teacher at Multnomah Education Service District, was terminated after being put on administrative leave March 20, 2015 (Portland Tribune/Jaime Valdez)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Multnomah Education Service District on Wednesday reinstated Oregon’s Teacher of the Year 2014, Brett Bigham, who had previously been fired.

They then immediately placed him on administrative leave and notified him that the interim superintendent is recommending to the District to terminate his contract by May 13.

The District claims that the dismissal is in accordance with fair dismissal laws and that it is consistent with their “commitment to providing respect and fair and legal process to employees.”

Bigham was terminated from his position as a transitions teacher for 18-to-21-year-olds with developmental disabilities at the Multnomah Education Service District earlier this month.

The District says he was fired for missing too much class time.

Bigham has been in a dispute with the District that he says began with his public disclosures of his homosexuality. The fight has evolved into two complaints to the Bureau of Labor and Industries and two at the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

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