Local News

Investigation Reveals Repeated Visitor Violations At HDMS

BEND, OR -- Bend-La Pine Schools has completed its internal investigation into a June seventh incident when an unauthorized visitor was allowed inside High Desert Middle School. Later, the school learned the man - Thomas Lee Bear - had a warrant and was a convicted sex offender.

The district found staff violated policy by allowing Bear to use an office restroom beyond the secure entry without going through the mandatory check-in process. The investigation also revealed front office staff have allowed visitors to use the office restroom without proper check-in on multiple occasions over several years.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent Dr. Steven Cook says staff are expected to recommit to safety practices and training. He also says Principal Wendy McCulloch recently resigned and accepted a position at a school district in Washington. An interim principal for High Desert Middle School will be announced soon. 

Click HERE to access the district's final report of the incident. 


Photo: Thomas Lee Bear (2020)

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