Former band director investigated for inappropriate text messages

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - FOX19 has uncovered documents that show Covington Independent Public Schools investigated a report of possible inappropriate electronic communication by former band director Jared Murray with a student.

A police document obtained by FOX19 references an allegation of 104 inappropriate text messages from Murray.

Covington Police have confirmed an "open and ongoing" investigation into allegations against Murray but will not comment further on the nature of that investigation.

Murray tells FOX19 that he is 100 percent innocent in the case. He says his text messages to this particular female student are being taken out of context.

Jared Murray was suspended with pay beginning September 6th, while the district investigated the allegation of inappropriate electronic communication. Murray resigned two and a half weeks later in lieu of being terminated.

Cory Stark sat down with Murray to talk about his meeting with the school administration.

"There were text messages going on between me and the student, and that they were deemed inappropriate, so they asked me about some of them," explained Murray. "The ones I brought up are the ones I've talked about where the kid was going on an overnight weekend trip and they took one text out of context that said - is it just grand folks there or are your folks there too?"

Murray says he often sends text messages to his students. However, he claims none are inappropriate. Murray says his students are like his family.

"They helped me overcome some obstacles I was having in my life and my personal life, through my divorce I was going through and that's who I had," said Murray. "And now I don't have those students who I consider my children."

The police report dated September 5th references a reported offense of "unlawful transaction with a minor in the third degree." According to police, the person filing the report believes Murray "is responsible for her daughter's recent involvement in drugs and defiant misbehavior," alleging the band teacher sent inappropriate text messages to the victim.

So where did these allegations come from?

"I have no idea because the mother first contacted me and said the student had failed a drug test. I don't know where I would be involved with the drugs," said Murray. "I don't do drugs and I don't drink, so I don't know where that would come from."

A statement by Eric Deters' Office reveals that Chris Roach will represent Murray temporarily until Deters is able to practice law in November. The office maintains Jared Murray is being "defamed by a false accuser, members of the Covington school system and members of the general public pertaining to this matter." The statement goes on to allege "the student Jared believes is involved in this has a long history of bad behavior."

According to the Holmes High School website, bands have received numerous awards and proficient ratings under Murray's direction. He previously served as band director at Holmes Middle School before being promoted to director of bands for both schools.

"I kind of hope whatever they are investigating isn't true. He doesn't seem like that kind of person," said former student Deshawte Gordon.

Prior to Covington, the website states Murray worked with numerous schools throughout the Midwest, including Lloyd Memorial High School in Erlanger and George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.

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