BOUND BROOK — A high school teacher who fought tenure charges against him all the way to the state Supreme Court for improper use of his work computer and making inappropriate comments to colleagues has lost another attempt at saving his job.

The charges were first brought against math teacher Glen Ciripompa in July 2014 after a teacher told Assistant Superintendent Daniel Gallagher that a student had told him about a Tweet from Ciripompa about "sending out nudes." Gallagher brought the complaint to the superintendent, who ordered the retrieval of Ciripompa's district-provided laptop.

Gallagher said a search of Ciripompa's laptop revealed "probably a hundred or more emails with photos attached." He said the pictures included [n]aked women, body parts. Sexual body parts." At that time the district alerted the Bound Brook Police Department, after which authorities took Ciripompa's laptop and iPad.

The district submitted 183 pages of emails, noting that only a few were sent during the school day, but that they were all sent on the district's network.

The district also reported many of the emails were aimed at finding sex partners online and discussing sex acts.

The district also reported getting complaints about comments Ciripompa made to female colleagues. One teacher said Ciripompa would "come up behind me and whisper that I looked nice that day or it was a nice dress or something close to my ear quietly." That same teacher told the district that Ciripompa had bought carnations as part of a school fundraiser before anonymously having them delivered to the teacher. He eventually emailed her to tell her the flowers came from him.

Ciripompa also reportedly made several advances towards the school's softball coach. After denying him several times, the coach said Ciripompa attended a softball game, giving her an "eerie feeling."

The appeals court decision noted that Ciripompa did not testify at the arbitration hearing. Responding to the tenure charges, the decision notes that Ciripompa admitted that the internet usage was unbecoming of a teacher but was not grounds for his dismissal. He also said he did not agree that his interactions with his colleagues were inappropriate. The decision also notes that Ciripompa was never charged with a crime for any of the activities he was accused of in the tenure charges.

The Bound Brook Board of Education forwarded the tenure charges to the state Commissioner of Education, who assigned an arbitrator. In October 2014, the arbitrator ruled that the district had proven the allegations bout the email usage, but not the charges involving his interaction with colleagues.

The arbitrator said his conduct did not "meet the generally recognized definition of hostile environment sexual harassment." The decision notes that the arbitrator made his ruling in part because of the testimony of a psychiatrist who defined his behavior as a lack of judgment and that he was "extremely unlikely to engage in the behavior again." As a result, the arbitrator changed his punishment to a suspension of 120 days without pay.

The district appealed the decision in court. A judge said the arbitrator had "erroneously considered the conduct under New Jersey's sexual harassment laws" and ordered another arbitrator to hear the case.

In October 2015, that decision was reversed by an appellate panel and the original decision was upheld. But in February of this year, the state Supreme Court reversed the appellate decision, sending the tenure case back to another arbitrator.

In a decision last month, arbitrator Walt De Treux called Ciripompa's behavior egregious for his use of the district's email system. He also said Ciripompa "blatantly disregarded and repeatedly violated District policies."

"Because of the number of times he used the computer for inappropriate reasons and the number of times he conducted himself inappropriately with female staff, his behavior cannot be attributed to a lapse in judgement," De Treux said. "Rather, his conduct demonstrated a pattern of willful violations and an astounding lack of any sense of boundaries for a teaching professional who is well-trained in the appropriate conduct expected of him."

In light of these factors, De Treux ruled "dismissal is an appropriate penalty."

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