The two Millard teachers who lost their jobs over a peanut butter sandwich will get a less severe penalty than a state commission had recommended.
Keri Watkins and Ann Gigstad will have their teaching certificates suspended for one year, which means they will automatically be reinstated after the suspension.
That decision was made Tuesday by the Nebraska Board of Education.
The Nebraska Professional Practices Commission has recommended revoking the certificates, which means they would have had to apply to have them reinstated after a year.
The teachers lost their jobs at Millard's Walt Disney Elementary School last year after they spun “a web of deceit,” as a state official put it, to cover up after one of them allowed a student with a peanut allergy to taste a peanut butter sandwich during a class activity.
The fifth-grade boy broke out in an itchy rash and his eyes swelled, according to documents made public as part of a formal state complaint challenging their credentials to continue teaching in Nebraska.
State Education Board documents indicate that the teachers misled the boy's parents and school administrators about how the boy came into contact with peanut butter.
The teachers owned up to the deception several days later after a student-teacher at Disney told her college adviser about the incident and the college contacted the Millard Public Schools, the documents indicate. Both teachers resigned.
Three paraprofessionals also left employment at the school after the incident.
World-Herald staff writer Andrew J. Nelson contributed to this report.
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