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School district fires former part-time Dean Morgan teacher charged with sexually abusing student
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School district fires former part-time Dean Morgan teacher charged with sexually abusing student

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Waugaman initials

Jason Waugaman, 36, talks with his lawyer before his initial court appearance Jan. 17 in Casper. The Dean Morgan Junior High School tutor faces three felonies alleging he had sexual contact with a student.

The Natrona County School District has fired a former part-time Dean Morgan teacher and Kelly Walsh speech and debate coach after he was arrested earlier this month and charged with sexually abusing a former student.

“While Mr. (Jason) Waugaman was in police custody the District deactivated his electronic key access to school buildings, his access to student information, and his access to district communication channels,” the district said in a Tuesday evening press release. “Mr. Waugaman was permanently prohibited by the Natrona County School District from being on school grounds.”

The information was released after the Star-Tribune sent the district’s private attorney, Craig Silva, a recent court filing that a lawyer for the newspaper said voided the state statute that blocked officials from commenting. That statute bars the release of identifying information of defendants accused of sex crimes.

Waugaman, 36, was arrested Jan. 16. The district says it became aware of the case the same day.

The educator was listed as a tutor on the district’s directory. However, in Tuesday’s announcement he was described as a part-time teacher at Dean Morgan, a substitute and a speech and debate activity sponsor at Kelly Walsh. The district also said Waugaman underwent a background check when he was first hired, which included a screening against a sex offender registry.

At the time of Waugaman’s arrest, Casper police and the school district both released statements acknowledging an arrest of a district employee, but neither would comment further. After an intense media and public response, the police — and later the school district’s private attorney — said that state statute prevented them from commenting on the arrest until the suspect appeared in court.

“We absolutely understand the public concern over recent reports of an individual alleged to have sexually abused a student and recognize the impact these serious allegations have on our community,” the district said in its Tuesday statement.

In his first court appearance the day after his arrest, Waugaman was charged with two counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and one count in the third degree. He is accused of sexually abusing a former student of his in July 2016, after a months-long relationship formed over text messages that included graphic exchanges.

According to his LinkedIn, Waugaman was employed in the district beginning in 2007, when he began coaching at KW. He had also served as a substitute teacher since at least 2014.

The victim in the case, who was 14 at the time of the alleged abuse, contacted police earlier this month, according to an affidavit describing the allegations. She struck up a conversation with Waugaman again at the direction of a police detective. In messages sent earlier this month, police say Waugaman graphically described the July night that he alleged abused the girl.

He was quickly brought in for a police interview, where he denied the allegations and said his relationship with his former student was “strictly professional.” He said he’d deleted nude images he’d received and denied that he’d used social media to contact any other students. He denied sexting with the student or broaching sexual topics with her.

He was arrested after the interview.

Citing the state statute, the school district declined to comment about the case up until Tuesday. But on Friday, Waugaman’s attorney waived the tutor’s preliminary hearing, sending the case to district court and voiding the state statute that precluded the district from talking.

In that same Friday filing, Waugaman reported that his bond was paid. One of the conditions of his release is a prohibition on contacting the alleged victim and “anyone under age 15.”

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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