Today I can add more details to the story. In a statement released shortly after her arrest Baesler stated that the problem relationship Todd Tschosik “has been escalating in recent months.” So far the public record seems to be carrying that out.
Mr. Tschosik had a drunk driving arrest in December of 2014 and his license is currently suspended. In July of 2014 Mr. Tschosik was arrested in Florida for allegedly choking Baesler while accompanying her on a taxpayer-funded trip to a conference of education leaders.
During this same timeline it appears as though Mr. Tschosik was having difficulties at work according to records from the Bismarck Public School System. Tschosik was honored by the school system in July, shortly after the incident in Florida, for 25 years of service but later in the year was reprimanded for twice leaving a classroom of students unattended when he didn’t show up for work.
On November 6, 2014, Tschosik was reprimanded for showing up at work at 8:45am when he was supposed to have been in the school building by 7:45am. “There was no communication between Mt. Tschosik and Legacy High School prior to him arriving late,” reads a memo written by Simle Middle School Principal Russ Riehl. “Consquently, students were left without an instructor for 30 minutes. This is not the first time Mr. Tschosik’s attendance has been a concern.”
In a separate incident Tschosik abandoned his work duties for an entire day, again leaving a classroom full of students unattended. School officials were so worried they sent law enforcement to Mr. Tschosik’s home to do a welfare check.
The scathing rebuke – signed by Tschosik, Riehl, Legacy High School Principal Tom Schmidt, and Wachter Middle School Principal Lee Ziegler – also states that “administrators in the three buildings where you are currently teaching no longer trust your ability to carry out all of your responsibilities of [sic] a professional staff member.”
As I noted in the television segment above, and in a post yesterday, there is so far no indication that Superintendent Baesler communicated to school officials at any level about the violent behavior she alleges to have observed from Mr. Tschosik. Department of Public Instruction spokesman Dale Wetzel told via email yesterday that the “authority to review, investigate or discipline a teacher lies with an independent board, the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, and its director.”
“The Department of Public Instruction and its superintendent have no authority to do this,” he added.
While the DPI may not have the authority to investigate or discipline the teacher, does the Superintendent of Public Schools have a duty to report her personal experience with alleged violence and alcohol abuse to school officials who do have that authority?
I asked Wetzel in a follow-up email sent yesterday afternoon if Baesler ever contacted anyone in the public schools hierarchy regarding Tschosik’s behavior. So far he hasn’t responded.