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Oak Grove teacher investigated for alleged inappropriate use of cellphone in classroom, school says

The Lutheran school in Fargo said it is cooperating with police.

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Oak Grove Lutheran School is seen Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, at 124 North Terrace, Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
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FARGO — A Christian school teacher in Fargo is under investigation by police for allegedly using their cellphone inappropriately in a classroom, according to an email sent to parents.

The email sent Friday, Nov. 19, by Oak Grove Lutheran School President Michael Slette gave few details into the investigation. It didn’t name the teacher but said a north campus educator was placed on administrative leave.

“Oak Grove is fully cooperating with police in the investigation and taking measures to protect the safety and privacy of students while also respecting the rights of the teacher,” Slette wrote in the email.

Slette told The Forum a small number of north campus students are involved in the case. No arrests have been made, Slette said.

He declined to name the teacher being investigated. The school is waiting for police to conclude their investigation and is praying for everyone involved, he added.

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“At this point, it’s in the hands of police to look at the situation,” Slette said.

The Fargo Police Department confirmed the investigation but it declined to release details since it is an active case.

This is the second Oak Grove employee in a year to face an investigation regarding allegations of inappropriate conduct. Daniel Mark Stoa, 34, of Fargo is slated to change his plea next month in a child porn case.

Court documents alleged Stoa had videos and images depicting sexually explicit acts involving children. One child was as young as 3 years old, a criminal complaint said.

A North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent alleged Stoa shared child pornography online and "engaged in sexually (explicit) chat on Twitter regarding sexual acts with children," according to the complaint.

The investigation started in mid-January, and Stoa was arrested in February. Oak Grove Lutheran School fired Stoa from his position as a cross country and track and field coach the day he was arrested.

Stoa initially pleaded not guilty.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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