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Teaching license is revoked

The Benton County Attorney, through the Vinton Police Department, on Monday, April 12, released documents that stated a former Benton Community school district teacher's license permanently revoked.

In the release from Benton County Attorney David Thompson, it was announced that Walter Drahozal, Solon, had his license to teach in the State of Iowa permanently revoked by the Iowa Board or Educational Examiners on Feb. 4, 2010, after voluntarily agreeing to surrender his license.

Thompson said Drahozal was an elementary school teacher for the Norway Community School District and Benton Community School District from 1980 to January 2006. He held a standard license with endorsements to teach grades 5-12 physical education, K-6 elementary education, K-8 physical education and to couch at the K-12 level. Drahozal was a sixth grade teacher at the Norway Elementary School when he resigned in January 2006 after evidence surfaced he had inappropriate instant messaging and email contact with students "expressing feelings for the students, commenting inappropriately on the student's physical appearances, and having sexual conversations with the students," according to language quoted by Thompson in the Notice of Hearing and Statement of Charges, Factual Circumstance submitted to the board of examiners.

Thompson stated the Benton County Attorney's Office was issuing this information at this time due to its importance relative to keeping schools safe.

"All too often, schools feel as if this type of activity is embarrassing and needs to be kept quiet, or that employer-employee confidentiality rules prohibit its release. It is important to understand that part of our school’s ability to provide a safe environment for kids is making the public aware of situations like the one in this case. Our schools also need to know that immediately reporting matters such as this to law enforcement is critically important to protecting students and stopping potential cases of student abuse. I commend the Benton Community School Board for taking action to file its complaint against Mr. Drahozal on August 27, 2009,” Thompson stated in the press release from the Vinton Police Department.

Assistant Iowa Attorney General Julie Bussanmas prosecuted this matter before the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners.

Superintendent Gary Zittergruen stated, “The school district cooperated fully with the Board of Educational Examiners regarding this matter and the outcome.”

UPDATED April 16, 2010 1:40 PM

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