A Crook County teacher and middle school wrestling coach convicted of harassing his son was allowed to keep his teaching certification and return to the classroom, but he’s under a “last-chance agreement” with the Crook County School District.
Michael Shinkle is a shop teacher at Crook County Middle School. In April 2017, he was observed having a “verbal and physical altercation” with a 12-year-old during wrestling practice, according to a recent report by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
The victim was Shinkle’s 12-year-old son, according to the report.
The incident was reported to the school district, which alerted the teaching commission and placed Shinkle on paid leave pending a conduct investigation. The Crook County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Human Services conducted their own investigations.
The Department of Human Services found Shinkle’s conduct “as related to possible child abuse,” according to the teaching commission.
The Crook County district attorney charged Shinkle with attempted assault and harassment. In July 2017, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor harassment and was sentenced to 18 months probation.
That same month, Shinkle’s divorce became final, and his ex-wife moved out of state with their son, events that contributed to a relapse and hospitalization for an alcohol dependency problem he had previously struggled with, he told the teaching commission.
According to the commission’s final order, the different investigations revealed Shinkle’s alcohol dependency had contributed to “family and professional issues.” He was convicted in 2016 of driving under the influence of intoxicants. The commission’s report says Shinkle entered into additional counseling in September and has reportedly remained sober since.
Shinkle was allowed to return to work but first had to complete a five-day suspension without pay. He signed a “last-chance agreement” with the school district when he returned.
In late February, the teaching commission ordered that Shinkle’s teaching certification be suspended for 90 days, followed by four years of probation. The commission said his conduct constituted gross neglect of duty and other violations of Oregon administrative rules.
Shinkle has been a licensed educator in Oregon since 1998.
Crook County Community Corrections recently notified the court Shinkle had completed 40 hours of community service. Shinkle’s sentence also includes a provision to attend weekly domestic violence counseling for 36 weeks.
Shinkle was previously the head wrestling coach at Crook County High School, a post from which he resigned in 2008, according to prior reports in The Bulletin. He was named the Class 5A wrestling coach of the year in 2008.
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