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Wadena police chief: No criminal intent found in teacher case

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WADENA — Wadena Police Chief Bruce Uselman Tuesday said his department reviewed information regarding the Wadena-Deer Creek School District teacher who was suspended for not complying with the district’s acceptable use policy for technology and found nothing to indicate that there was any criminal intent in the incident.

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Uselman said his department did not conduct an investigation but reviewed information that was gathered by parents of students who had apparently seen an inappropriate photo on an iPad. According to the police chief a student stumbled across an iPad in a classroom setting, thinking it belonged to another student.

The health and physical education teacher, Tom VanErp, was given an unpaid suspension equal to 10 work days, according to the school district. Wadena-Deer Creek School Board Chair Steve Techam said a forensics firm was unable to retrieve the photo in question.

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