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SHS teacher charged with disorderly conduct

A Superior High School teacher has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly slapping a student.

Gretchen Hattimae Hexum, 44, of Esko made an initial appearance Friday in Douglas County Circuit Court Friday. She faces one count of disorderly conduct.

Hexum was released on a $500 signature bond and ordered to have no violent or abusive contact with the victim.

According to the criminal complaint: A female student left another teacher's room Sept. 6 following a confrontation with a male student.

A few minutes later, while the class was in session, Hexum entered the room. She began re-enacting how the male student was behaving in her own classroom earlier that day and how he had gotten the female student worked up.

During the reenactment, she walked up to the male student and slapped him across the back of the head of side of the head. Students heard her make a statement similar to "that was a love tap" and appeared to try to give the male student a hug.

The male student told Superior Police Officer Tom Johnson that the slap did not hurt or cause him pain. It did not leave any marks.

In an interview with SHS Principal Greg Posewitz, Hexum said the female student came to her room upset about the confrontation with the male student. She said she had planned to call the office herself for assistance but did not know what extension to call because of the new phone system. Hexum said she might have inadvertently slapped the male student during her re-enactment.

Superior School District Administrator Janna Stevens confirmed on Sept. 18 that Hexum had been placed on leave. No further information on Hexum's status with the district was available as of press time.