Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 30, 2012

Teacher accused of sexual conduct

Record-Eagle staff writers

— TRAVERSE CITY -- Authorities charged Traverse City West Senior High School teacher Lisa Gaye Placek with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Placek, 45, of Traverse City, is identified in court documents as a teacher at West. Authorities allege Placek met a male student, 15, from West on Dec. 31 while on Christmas break, and that she performed oral sex on the sophomore while in her car in Elmwood Township in Leelanau County.

Traverse City West Senior High School Principal Joe Tibaldi alerted parents to the criminal investigation on Jan. 21. He told parents the staff member was placed on a leave of absence pending an investigation by the Leelanau County and Grand Traverse County sheriff's departments.

Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Steve Cousins released a statement Monday indicating Placek's "employment with the district was terminated on January 24."

Placek was a language arts teacher and coached the varsity girls volleyball team.

"We are outraged, shocked and deeply saddened by these allegations against the former teacher. It violates the cherished trust we share with parents, the students we serve, our Board of Education, and our community," Cousins stated.