Cottage Grove High School music teacher Gabe Dickinson, 37, is the subject of a police investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor.
According to Cottage Grove Police, Dickinson was being investigated for sexual misconduct, sexual abuse-3, sexual abuse-2 and sodomy-3. During an arraignment held on Friday in Lane County Circuit Court, Dickinson was charged with three counts of third degree sodomy.
“Officers and detectives learned that this relationship began approximately two years ago when the student was 15 years of age and in the 10th grade. The sexual relationship continued into November 2018,” a statement released by CGPD stated.
On Thursday, Nov. 29, an email was sent to Cottage Grove High School parents from principal Mike Ingman that stated, in part, “Upon learning of the allegations, Cottage Grove High School and South Lane School District moved quickly to respond.”
The letter explained how the school district alerted the Cottage Grove Police Department, working cooperatively with police as they conduct an investigation.
“Mr. Dickinson is on leave, and is currently not at school,” Ingman stated in the email, adding that, “While I cannot comment on the specifics of the allegations or the investigation, I can assure you that nothing is more important to this school and district than the safety and well-being of each of our students.
“I hope you will not let the alleged misconduct of one person cast a shadow over all of our staff members, who demonstrate their commitment to education and to our students every day.”
Ingman also noted that counselors would be available to students affected by the situation.
Dickinson was detained and is being held at the Lane County Corrections Facility.
He was placed on leave from CGHS. According to SLSD Human Resources Director Brian McCasline, Dickinson was still on leave as of Monday, Dec. 3.
According to his personal LinkedIn account, Dickinson has worked at CGHS since 2015. He previously worked in the Bethel School District from 2010 to 2015.
The district office later released a statement on its website saying it could not comment further on the situation but was cooperating fully with law enforcement officials.
“Our staff work diligently and successfully teaching our students and ensuring that they are safe and secure in their school environment,” the statement read, repeating in part, “We hope that the alleged misconduct of one person does not cast a shadow over all of our staff members, who demonstrate their commitment to education and to our students every day. We have a care plan in place at Cottage Grove High School to meet the needs of staff and students at this time.”
Both CGPD and CGHS ask that anyone with relevant information call Det. Tami Miles at 541-942-9145 ext. 224, or school resource officer Chris Joyce at 541-942-9145 ext. 214.
Parents with questions or concerns can contact McCasline at the district office at 541-942-3381 ext. 133.