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Frazee coach, teacher still on leave

Frazee wrestling coach and teacher John Barlund remains on administrative paid leave.

Tuesday night during a special closed meeting, the Frazee-Vergas School Board could not reach a verdict on actions against teacher and coach John Barlund.

Barlund was placed on administrative leave Feb. 5 for allegations of employee misconduct.

“They explored lots of options. They looked around every tree,” Superintendent Terry Karger said Wednesday morning.

But no decisions were reached and Barlund remains on paid administrative leave.

Karger said the school board will have another meeting to continue the discussion, but that meeting has not been set yet.

In a letter addressed to Barlund on the morning of Feb. 5, Karger advised him not to speak to anyone about the investigation except legal or union representation, not to contact any potential witnesses and not to come on school property without Karger’s permission.

Barlund has been teaching in the district since 2005, when he started as a half-time physical education and half-time math teacher.

Head coach of the wrestling team since that same time, Barlund will have to miss his team’s trip to state.

The Frazee wrestling team marked up its 21st state berth Saturday after the Class 1A No. 2 ranked Hornets rolled through the Section 8-1A team tournament in Thief River Falls.

The Hornets will open the Class 1A state team tournament as the No. 2 seed and will face Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale in the quarterfinals Thursday, Feb. 27, inside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Hornets will be back in action Friday and Saturday for the Section 8-1A individual tournament, which will be held in Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. 

Assistant Coach Marty Aho is filling in during Barlund’s absence.

“There was a lot of discussion and they are looking at options,” Karger said of the school board.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.