The Ogden-Weber Area Vocational Center Board is waiting to talk with a substitute teacher who is accused of allowing a group of Roy High School male students to view a pornographic video during an electronics class.
Brent Wallis, director of the center, a facility of the State Office of Education, said Friday the center board will send a certified letter to the last known address of Jeffrey L. Edwards, 26, Ogden, who apparently left but later returned to the state.Edwards has been given 10 days to respond and give his side of the story. If he doesn't respond, action will be taken to terminate him as a substitute teacher, Wallis said.
On Friday, the Deseret News made contact with Edwards, who said he had been in the Phoenix area during a previously arranged trip to look for work. He said he had returned to Ogden on Thursday morning but had not received the certified letter nor had he been contacted by the Roy Police Department, which received the videotape from the school.
Edwards' account of the incident differs markedly from that given by Roy High Principal Jan Parrish and the 15 students who viewed about 10 minutes of the sexually explicit videotape.
From the beginning of interviews last week, the students' story has been consistent, Parrish said. She said all the students, including the student who supplied the film, claim Edwards put the videotape in the machine.
Parrish said the student who supplied the film was suspended from Roy High and was referred to the school district office. District officials will determine whether he returns to the school, she said.
Everyone should have a right to due process, but the substitute teacher has not been available, making it difficult for the school to respond to his story, Parrish said.
Edwards, a substitute teacher for Ogden-Weber Area Vocational Center who was teaching his first day at Roy High, said Friday he didn't realize the film, which he described as hard-core pornography, had been put in a videotape machine.
He said an electronics movie was shown during the first 40 minutes of the class, after which the sound was shut off. He said he hit the rewind button on the machine and went behind the TV monitor.
"Paper airplanes were flying all over the room, and I was busy trying to clean up the room. I guess one of the kids put a new movie in, but I didn't realize what was going on until I walked around in front of the monitor. When I realized what was going on, I stopped the film and gave it back to the kid who brought it in. I did not preview the film," Edwards said.
The teacher did say that the student brought the film into the classroom before the class began, saying, "here's another movie." But Edwards said he (Edwards) did not check or look at the film .
Edwards said, "I wasn't out to get anybody in trouble. I told the kids (after the showing) to take the movie and put it back" where they got it and "we'll just forget about it."
He said the students were rowdy, warning him that they were "going to get him in trouble" because he wouldn't let them finish watching the film. "It is me against them. Where do I stand?" he asked.
Roy Police Detective Ken Johnson said Friday morning that he had not interviewed Edwards and that no charges had been filed in the case.
"I haven't received any written statements from the (Roy High) students, but I have talked to a couple of students verbally. They say the teacher knew what was going on and allowed it to happen," Johnson said.
Mike Bouwhuisof the Ogden-Weber Vocational Center staff declined to comment on the students' statements before Edwards is contacted.
"We have had no contact from him. We attempted to make contact beginning Feb. 17," Bouwhuis said.