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UPDATE: Ben Franklin staff member fired for inappropriate video with student

Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo, ND.
Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo, ND.(Valley News Live)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 3:46 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - UPDATE: Valley News Live reached out to Fargo PD about the investigation into the complaint.

Police say they referred its findings to the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office several weeks ago.

We’ve reached out to the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office for more information and are waiting on a response.

ORIGINAL STORY:

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A former staff member at Ben Franklin Middle School was fired for having an inappropriate relationship with a student, according to the district’s termination letter. It’s a story that Valley News Live has been following since January 2022. You can read the original story here.

The student’s mother called the Valley News Live Whistleblower Hotline this week asking for help. After requesting the personnel file from the Fargo School District, we were able to get new information about the termination of Ruthie Carlson, who was listed as a lunchroom supervisor.

The termination letter says Carlson originally denied knowing about the Snapchat video, but later admitted to Ben Franklin Middle School Principal Shane Martin that she was aware of the video and the specific situation.

It also states the investigation found her actions violated several district policies. Her termination letter lists the following staff conduct policies that were violated:

  • Engaging in immoral conduct in relation to a student
  • Associating with students at any time in any situation or activity which could be considered sexually suggestive or involve the presence or use of controlled substances such as tobacco, alcohol or drugs, or dating a student enrolled in the district

The letter from Human Resources Director Doug Andring says “Any such conduct with a student by an employee of the school district can also subject the offender to criminal liability.”

Carlson was fired in December of 2021. This week, the student’s mother called Valley News Live saying she has been working with the Fargo Police Department to press charges. According to court documents, no charges have been filed against Ruthie Carlson.

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