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States let accused educator work 2 yrs

PHOENIX — Arizona education leaders allowed a Scottsdale teacher accused of sexual misconduct in West Virginia to remain in the classroom for two years while the two states’ investigations plodded along, officials and documents now reveal. 

An email obtained by The Arizona Republic shows West Virginia education officials told Arizona investigators in 2017 about sexual misconduct allegations in West Virginia against Pete Cheesebrough, a science teacher at Coronado High School.

The Arizona State Board of Education revoked Cheesebrough’s teaching certificate on Dec. 13. He worked at Coronado High School up until this month, when he resigned following an article by The Republic.

It took West Virginia more than a year and a half to discipline Cheesebrough, and then it took nearly another year for Arizona to take action. All that time, Cheesebrough continued teaching.

The Cheesebrough case exemplifies the loopholes teachers can slip through when they face allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse. In 2016, a USA TODAY investigation found more than 100 teachers who lost their teaching licenses, and more who simply lost their jobs, but were still working with children or young adults years later.