Beaufort High assistant principal back to work after DUI arrest

tbarton@islandpacket.comMay 13, 2013 

Dan Tooman

A Beaufort High School assistant principal returned to work two days after his May 5 arrest on charges of driving while intoxicated.

Daniel Scott Tooman, 34, was placed on paid leave May 6 but was back at work the next day.

Acting superintendent Jackie Rosswurm said Tooman was allowed to return May 7 after fulfilling several requirements placed upon him to remain employed by the Beaufort County School District. Rosswurm would not reveal the requirements, saying they were a confidential personnel matter.

"Other requirements are ongoing, which we will continue to monitor," Rosswurm said Monday, adding that district policy does not include a mandatory length of leave or prescribe counseling as a condition of returning to work after a drug- or alcohol-related charge. "It depends on the individual situation in terms of how that is handled."

District policy does say employees "are expected to set the kind of example for students which will serve students well in their own conduct and which subsequently contributes to an appropriate school atmosphere," including obeying local, state and federal laws.

Employees who violate the policies are placed on administrative leave, with or without pay, pending an investigation and possible recommendation for dismissal, according to the policies.

"Mr. Tooman and the school have handled this very well, and Mr. Tooman has been very forthright with kids and staff that he made a mistake," Rosswurm said. "He's taken this as a chance to let students know he's made a huge mistake, and they need to be careful not to end up in that same situation.

"I think we've done what's appropriate by placing requirements on him. It is not just a slap on the wrist."

Beaufort High principal Corey Murphy declined to comment Monday about Tooman's return.

Murphy last week called Tooman's arrest "an unfortunate mistake not ... indicative of his quality of work as an educator, which has been exemplary."

Beaufort County Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans would not comment about Tooman's return to school, other than to say as a former high school principal he did not see a connection between the district's handling of Tooman's DUI arrest and communicating to students the consequences of risky decisions.

Tooman was charged just as schools across Beaufort County are holding proms and warning students of the dangers of drinking and driving. Beaufort High School's prom is Saturday.

Attempts Monday to reach Tooman were unsuccessful.

He was pulled over by a Beaufort police officer at about 3:15 a.m. May 5 on Boundary Street for "driving left of center," according to an incident report.

Tooman was charged with first-offense driving under the influence and driving left of center. A breath test indicated he had a blood alcohol level of 0.18 -- more than twice the legal limit, according to Cpl. Hope Able.

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