Teacher’s five-year leave request leaves Hibbing scrambling

What would happen at your workplace if you wanted to take some time off? Five years worth of time off?

Some members of the Hibbing, Minn., school board are asking that question as they consider what to do about teacher Thad Johannessohn’s request for a five-year leave of absence. He also runs a building company.

He’s allowed to request the leave under the union contract, the Hibbing Daily Tribune says. Teachers can request three- or five-year leaves, although the school board isn’t required to grant it.

“I don’t know why we do this. They don’t do this in private industry,” school board chair Kathy Nyberg said. “I don’t believe in granting leaves in general. Personally, they’re the ones who decided to leave their job. You can’t expect your company to leave a position open for you for five years in case you change your mind — that’s a long time.”

The principal of Hibbing High School says he’s got a candidate to fill the industrial-arts position on a fill-in basis.

The school board has tabled the request until the candidate decides whether he’d take the job if offered, the paper says.