Investigation finds Tri-State teacher sexually harassed female students

The six-month investigation substantiated evidence from two student-accusers.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - An investigation into a Talawanda Middle School teacher has found the teacher sexually harassed two students, according to documents obtained by FOX19 NOW.

The teacher went on paid administrative leave in December 2021 after a student came forward accusing him of having touched her inappropriately. Around that time, the school board opened a Title IX investigation.

The investigation documents show there were in fact three separate female students who accused the teacher of touching them inappropriately and saying inappropriate things to them that made them feel uncomfortable. Two accusers’ claims were substantiated by enough evidence to warrant a finding of sexual harassment, according to the documents.

The results do not constitute criminal charges, because of which FOX19 has chosen not to name the teacher. But Oxford police say a criminal investigation into the allegations began at the outset of the Title IX investigation and is ongoing.

The first student to come forward an investigator, “I was in class Wednesday sitting in my chair listening to the teacher talk. He walked over to my chair to read my Chromebook and placed his hand on my shoulder, but right as he was walking away, he slid his hand down to my chest area.”

After interviewing several witnesses, the investigators concluded the teacher did sexually harass the student.

The investigation also found the student became suicidal from the stress of the incident and had to do remote learning for mental health reasons.

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It further shows the teacher was warned not to touch students almost two months before that incident allegedly occurred.

The second student told the Title IX coordinator she had a similar experience with the teacher at an after-school track practice five years ago.

She said, “He pulled me aside at a practice and stood close enough to me that flecks of spit landed on my face as he spoke. He wrapped his hand tightly around the back of my neck. He then asked me to stop wearing ‘low cut tops’ to practice and said. quote, ‘Don’t bend over in front of any boys, especially me.’”

The investigation found the student quit the track team because of the alleged incident.

Investigators say the teacher appeared to exhibit a pattern of conduct that indicated he has “boundary issues” with female students.

The report does make it clear the district does not tolerate sexual harassment or sexual assault on school grounds.

It says the teacher should face discipline but it does not say what type of discipline.

A district spokesperson told FOX19 they cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

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