PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – A special education teacher who was Oregon’s 2014 Teacher of the Year has been terminated.
The Oregonian reported that the Multnomah Education Service District announced April 3 it has terminated Brett Bigham.
Bigham has helped special education students between the ages of 18 and 21 with work and life skills. He was put on paid administrative leave March 20.
Bigham filed two complaints in recent months against the district with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, alleging sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation.
In a statement, District Interim Superintendent Jim Rose says “it became clear over time that Brett’s focus was no longer his classroom and students, as evidenced by excessive time away and distraction during class time.”
Bigham says he feels his termination is retaliation for filing complaints. He says his lawyer and union representative will meet to discuss future steps.