Education

Former Fife teacher sentenced for sending student suggestive texts

A former Fife teacher was sentenced Friday to 30 days in jail and 12 months of probation following his guilty plea in a case involving suggestive electronic messages he sent to a 15-year-old girl.

Eric Spry, 34, a former social studies teacher at Columbia Junior High, pleaded guilty to the crime of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge G. Helen Whitener also ordered Spry to register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim for at least five years.

Spry was arrested in January. Prosecutors said in court documents that shortly before his arrest he had sent the girl inappropriate messages, including one in which he said he wanted to “cuddle” with her. Spry also said in a message that he was “good at spooning,” according to prosecutors.

The girl, a high school student who felt awkward about the messages, told a teacher about them, and police were notified.

Spry said in court documents that he was ashamed of his actions, and that he was undergoing counseling treatment.

Between 2011 and 2013, Spry worked as a substitute teacher in the Fife School District and was later hired on a permanent contract. He also had worked as a substitute teacher in both Tacoma and Orting, and worked for less than a month in the Auburn School District.

His crime triggers mandatory permanent revocation of his teaching certificate, according to state education officials. In court Friday, Spry indicated he had obtained a new job working for an insulation company.

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