Teacher accused of providing whiskey to teen in Montezuma classroom

Bates was later taken to hospital “due to extreme intoxication”

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MONTEZUMA - An English teacher at Montezuma High School has resigned after he admitted to authorities that he supplied liquor to a teenage boy in a classroom.

Derek J. Bates, 26, of Montezuma, was charged Monday with providing alcohol to a person under the legal age and consuming alcohol on public school property. He is accused of providing Jack Daniels whiskey to a 17-year-old male on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 23 at the high school, according to court documents.

“The defendant and the juvenile both drank the alcohol while in the classroom, and both became very intoxicated,” according to a criminal complaint.

Bates was later taken to Grinnell Regional Medical Center by family members “due to extreme intoxication,” wrote Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Deputy Joel VanderLeest in the complaint. Bates admitted to the crime and told authorities he knew it was wrong, according to court documents.

Authorities have not released the name of the student involved.

Montezuma School District Superintendent David Versteeg said Bates resigned Friday, but declined to comment on specifics of the incident. A letter was sent to parents Monday informing them of the resignation.

“Administratively, we accepted his resignation, so he is no longer working here,” Versteeg said. “The board is going to address it at the next meeting (on Oct. 17).”

Bates graduated from Montezuma High School in 2004 and Grinnell College in 2008, according to his Facebook page. He was hired as a long-term substitute social studies teacher in 2009, and has been teaching English the past three years. Versteeg said Bates also led the school’s drama department and was a speech coach.

The letter to parents said a teacher who retired from the school in 2010 will return as a long-term substitute to fill Bates’ position. Versteeg said production on a school play was beginning this week, and it will go on as scheduled.

Bates was cited and released on Sept. 27 and was not booked at the county jail, according to the sheriff’s office. An initial court appearance has been set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Attempts to reach Bates on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

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