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Cache teacher who pulled fire alarm won't face charges

LOGAN (AP) -- A Providence Elementary School teacher accused of activating a fire alarm at Mount Logan Middle School in November has reached an agreement with prosecutors and will not face criminal charges.

Dirk Henningsen, 46, was involved in a relief effort for victims of Hurricane Mitch victims in Central America. He came to the middle school and asked Principal Dan Johnson to call an assembly so he could speak with students about getting involved.When Johnson denied Henningsen's request, Henningsen threatened to pull the fire alarm and talk to students outside.

Henningsen left the school, Johnson said, but returned minutes later and pulled the alarm. Henningsen was cited for giving a false fire alarm and disrupting school operations.

Henningsen was fined $375 and ordered to pay for his own mental health counseling. The agreement was designed by city prosecutors and Johnson, who did not believe it was necessary to press the issue.

"We checked with Principal Johnson before we entered into the agreement," Logan prosecutor Lee Edwards said. "We think justice has been served."

Assistant Cache County school superintendent Chad Downs said Henningsen has not worked with students since the incident.

"Dirk is still on personal leave, and we really aren't at liberty at this time to indicate what will happen," Downs said.