Former Kamiakin teacher suspended

A former Kamiakin High School teacher had his education certificate suspended for a month-and-a-half for using his district email to receive and send pornographic images.

Emil Carlson, who retired at the end of the past school year, received and sent the images of nude and partially nude women and of sexually explicit conduct during the 2008-09 school year, the summer of 2009 and the 2009-10 school year, according to the order of suspension issued by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The incident did not involve students, said Lorraine Cooper, Kennewick School District spokeswoman.

Sending pornographic content with district resources is a violation of the district's employee computer use agreement and several state regulations. It also is a violation of the state's Code of Professional Conduct.

Cooper said Carlson received some emails containing the pornographic images on his school district email.

"He made the very unfortunate decision to forward those," she told the Herald.

Some of the emails were forwarded to people outside the district, but some were also sent to the district email account of Ken Smith, the district's maintenance and operations supervisor, in October 2009, according to the state suspension order.

District officials reprimanded Carlson in November 2009, giving him a five-day suspension.

In December 2009, officials sent the information about the incident to the Office of Professional Practices, alleging a lack of good moral character or personal fitness, documents said.

Carlson met with investigators from the state superintendent's office in August 2011. The agreed order of suspension was signed July 24 and will become final in 30 days unless Carlson files an appeal.

Carlson would have to submit a new application to the state, including fingerprinting and background checks, to have his education license reinstated.

"This is a cautionary tale for everybody," Cooper said. "We always go over these use policies in the district every school year. ... Now with social media, you just got to be really smart about this conduct and he, unfortunately, was not smart about his conduct."

Carlson, who received his state education certificate in 1974, had worked for the Kennewick School District since 1996. He taught drafting and math -- what the district refers to as "tech ed" -- at Kamiakin.