Governor Branstad comments on school sex scandal: "They made a m - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Governor Branstad comments on school sex scandal: "They made a mistake"

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(KWWL) -

A substitute teacher at a Cedar Rapids high school was able to continue teaching after accusations of a sexual relationship with a student.

Mary Beth Haglin is facing charges of an illicit relationship with a student. Haglin was able to continue working in the Cedar Rapids School District at an elementary school after being fired from Washington High School due to the accusations.

Superintendent of the Cedar Rapids School District, Brad Buck, used to work very closely with Governor Terry Branstad.

Branstad had hired Buck in 2013 as the education director for the state. 

After multiple attempts, with no response, for an interview with Buck or the Cedar Rapids School District, KWWL tracked Governor Branstad down today. 

KWWL found him in Plainfield, and asked him about the scandal. 

Governor Branstad says he was first notified about the sex scandal by his staff. He's calling this a very critical situation. Branstad also said this should be a learning moment for the school district. 

"I think the school district didn't move as quickly as they should have on notifying on this situation," said Branstad. "I think they realized they made a mistake, and they've corrected it. But this is the kind of thing we never want to see happen. When it does, I think it's important that we take swift action and make it clear that this is something that is very serious and we, as a state, feel that the school districts have a responsibility to move quickly and remove a teacher that is doing something so inappropriate."

KWWL then asked Governor Branstad if he believes the Cedar Rapids School District was transparent enough.

"I guess my feeling is that we need to be open and transparent," said Branstad. "When there's a problem, we need to identify it as quickly as we can. And take appropriate action."

Governor Branstad also made it a point to note that moving forward, as soon as a problem like this arises, it's important to notify the public of the situation immediately. 

The governor mentioned there should be transparency from the school district with the situation. The Cedar Rapids School District has not been open and transparent with KWWL. 

KWWL has reached out numerous times to speak with Superintendent Brad Buck as well as each and every school board member. Our requests have been denied.

All KWWL has received is a written statement from the superintendent's office. 

KWWL wants to know what the school system is doing to make sure a substitute teacher who is removed from one school for sexual contact with a student, doesn't end up teaching at another Cedar Rapids public school.

KWWL will continue to request Superintendent Brad Buck be open and transparent, and will continue to keep you updated.

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