Hopkins High School social studies teacher Robert Wiersema, a former president of the Wayland Board of Education, has submitted notice of his retirement and will no longer be employed by the district.
Wiersema’s decision comes in the wake of an investigation by the school district and Michigan State Police about his communication with students the day after the Oxford High School shooting. Wiersema reportedly told students how he would have conducted the operation and would have been more successful in eluding capture.
Hopkins Superintendent Gary Wood said the State Police investigation yielded no finding of criminal behavior.
“Both the Michigan State Police and the District did not consider Mr. Wiersema to be a safety threat to the District,” Wood said. “Notwithstanding this outcome, the safety and well being of our students and staff is our top priority, and the District takes all complaints or concerns it receives, as well involve law enforcement.”
The superintendent said Hopkins school officials are making arrangements to cover Wiersema’s classes for the remainder of the school year.
Wiersema was a member of the Wayland Board of Education from 1995 to 2010, resigned his membership in the Michigan Education Association, the teachers’ union. He told the Detroit News in 2014 he was “no longer a pawn in union’s ‘big money political game.”
Wiersema spoke about how he was tired of having his union dues go to political causes he didn’t agree with.
Wiersema, a social studies teacher at Hopkins High School since 1997, was defeated in his re-election bid for the Wayland Board of Education in 2010 and blamed his loss on organized efforts against him by the Wayland Education Association.
Wiersema was placed on leave in November for “inappropriate” comments he made to students after the deadly school shooting at Oxford. Wood said school officials were alerted to comments he made that students said they felt were inappropriate and insensitive, especially in the wake of a shooting by a 15-year-old teen that left four students dead.