Court Documents Show Pawhuska Substitute Teacher Has Criminal Record
PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma - The Pawhuska substitute teacher accused of performing a cartwheel in class while not wearing underwear has a criminal record, according to court documents.
Lacey Sponsler is in the Osage County jail after police say she was caught on camera exposing herself to Pawhuska students while doing a cartwheel.
A police report says Sponsler initially denied it happened, telling police she didn't remember doing a cartwheel, but, instead was dancing with students trying to be a 'cool teacher.'
Court records show she's been in jail before and has a criminal history in Payne County.
Court records show she received a deferred sentence in 2008 after pleading guilty to public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a university.
The court clerk's office says it appears those felonies are still on her record, though our calls to Sponsler's attorney have not been returned.
Our calls to Pawhuska's school district Thursday have also gone unanswered.
Pawhuska's superintendent, Dr. Janet Neufeld, did send us a link to the district's policies regarding substitute teachers; but, up to now, she has not answered the other questions we have, like, did the district perform a background check on Sponsler?
The State Department of Education requires districts to do background checks on substitute teachers. But, if the screening comes back that the sub has a felony on their record, there's no law that prohibits a district from bringing that convict into the classroom - although most districts will not hire a felon.
In a statement, Neufeld sent Wednesday, she said:
"The Pawhuska School District takes the safety of its students very seriously and does everything it can to provide a safe learning environment. When the District learned of the incident involving a substitute teacher the District notified the Pawhuska Police Department of the incident and cooperated with the investigation. The substitute teacher has not been back to school since and will not be utilized in the future. The District will not comment further on this incident."
The department of education says school districts cannot hire anyone with sex crime convictions on their record.