Coach, substitute at center of Madison Plains investigation resigns
LONDON, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- The coach and substitute accused of inappropriately touching junior high girls in the Madison Plains Local School District has resigned.
After more than an hour in executive session Thursday night, it was announced at a special school board meeting that the man had resigned from coaching duties.
The district does not have contracts with substitute teachers.
Emotions were running high as the district's superintended laid out each step of his team's investigation, after students came forward saying they had been touched inappropriately. The claims were made by two students on the afternoon of Friday, January 26.
The superintendent said the substitute teacher was removed from the classroom as the investigation began.
"Based on the information I had at that time that there was no threat to our students, therefore I allowed him to coach," said superintendent Tim Dettwiller.
Another student came forward later on as a witness, according to Dettwiller, who said the substitute was then suspended from coaching at the time.
Details from the Madison County Sheriff's investigation reveal the students said they had been touched on the shoulder, neck and one student on the back near her belt. Students claimed he called them names like "sweetheart" or "baby," making them uncomfortable. After speaking with the prosecutor's office, the sheriff's office said no criminal charges would be filed.
The superintendent said they also reported this to child services as a precaution Saturday morning.
At the special board meeting Thursday, some parents said they were upset they were notified days later, and angry that the man was allowed to coach that Friday and Saturday after the accusations were made.
"We didn't know that the sheriff had cleared this guy, so we put not only kids in our district in danger but kids in another district in danger," said parent Corey Jeffers.
Some parents said confidence in school leaders is low across the community.
"I no longer think that the superintendent is effective," said parent Alyce Baker to the board. "The community has lost faith. This is not simply related to the current issue about the basketball coach."
The superintendent told ABC 6/FOX 28 that he is listening to the community and his team followed protocol.
"We have to have time to do a proper investigation," said Dettwiller, "and it has to protect both the accused in the accusers. We want to make sure that all of our students feel safe and know that they are safe, but we also have an obligation to our staff."
It was announced at the meeting that the former coach in question denies any wrongdoing and points to the sheriff's office and child services closing their cases without pressing charges.
The board accepted the resignation unanimously.