Washington Local Schools teacher under investigation resigns

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Washington Local Schools teacher resigns amid an internal investigation.

Whitmer High School social studies teacher Michael Punsalan's resignation was approved Monday after being on paid administrative leave since May.

Michael Punsalan has been banned from any Washington Local Schools district property and told not to destroy any form of communication with students since he's been on leave.

That, after School Board President Thomas Ilstrup says "credible" allegations came forward.

"Concerns were raised regarding Mr. Punsalan's communication and interaction with students," said Ilstrup.

The district has not released any information about what prompted the investigation that lead to Punsalan's leave and now resignation.

Ilstrup is the sole spokesperson for the district, but says HR director Jane Spurgeon is handling the ongoing investigation.

"Those are not fully in the public yet. They are part of Ms. Spurgeon's report. When that is completed, we will be able to share that with the community. It will go to the ODE at that time," said Ilstrup.

Punsalan taught social studies at Whitmer High for about 10 years.

He served as the social studies club advisor and created several commercials for the district posted on YouTube under the name Punsalan Productions.

Ilstrup gave a statement at the meeting.

"Mr. Punsalan submitted his resignation. It was pursuant to our investigation, I presume, and we accepted that resignation tonight by a unanimous vote of the board."

Ilstrup says these are not criminal charges and law enforcement was not involved.

Ilstrup says Ohio law requires schools to report to the Department of Education if a teacher resigns while under investigation.

"Resignation of Mr. Punsalan triggered such a report to ODE and Ms. Spurgeon filed that report earlier today," said Ilstrup.

Ilstrup says that the investigation should be wrapped up by the end of this month, and more information will be released then.

Punsalan will remain on paid administrative leave until his resignation becomes effective August 2, 2018.