Jenkins resigns from Washougal School District

Math teacher had been under investigation for ‘inappropriate’ touching

Math teacher Jay Jenkins has resigned from Washougal High School.

The School Board accepted his resignation, effective at the end of the school year, at a special meeting on Thursday.

This came about after a flurry of publicity about Jenkins’ allegedly touching students inappropriately during instructional time.

On Friday, Feb. 21, three female students told a school counselor and administrator that Jenkins had touched them during instructional time in math classes.

One said Jenkins wrapped his hand around her waist and touched her hip, another said he put his hands on her shoulders “a couple times,” until she told him to stop. The third student said Jenkins regularly pats her on the shoulder and rests his hand on her arm.

One student withdrew from his class, citing that she felt “creeped out,” by his physical contact. Another said she felt a knot in her stomach and did not want to ask questions for fear of being touched.

Jenkins was immediately placed on paid administrative leave. A week-long investigation by the School District began. The conclusion was that Jenkins frequently touches both male and female students during class times. Not all students said they were bothered by the touching.

In addition, the physical contact, while considered not sexual in nature, was deemed to be “inappropriate, an invasion of the students’ personal boundaries, and something that needs to stop and not be repeated,” according to a Feb. 28 letter to District Superintendent Dawn Tarzian from WHS Principal Aaron Hansen.

During the last month, three female students have filed tort claims against the district, alleging that it failed to protect them from Jenkins.

See the Tuesday, May 20, print edition of the Post-Record for additional details.