The Butler County Sheriff’s office is investigating an allegation of inappropriate touching of an Edgewood elementary student by a substitute teacher.
A fifth-grade student alleges the substitute teacher touched her buttocks last week, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.
A school resource officer and the Edgewood School administrators launched an immediate investigation, according to Sgt. Kim Peters. Detectives were called in to investigate the allegation.
The substitute teacher is not cooperating and has requested an attorney, according to the sheriff’s office.
As of Monday, there were no criminal charges filed, pending further investigation and consultation with the prosecutor’s office.
Edgewood School officials advised the substitute teacher in question will not return to their school district.
“We take these complaints very seriously, and we are working diligently to make sure our children are protected, and the outcome is appropriate through due process,” said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
A student placed a 911 call from the school bus on Friday at about 3:38 p.m., just minutes before the bus was leaving the school complex, according to the call released Monday by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. The young caller reported the alleged incident and others also got on the phone with dispatchers.
“I need the police, our substitute teacher was looking down shirts and touching our butts,” the young caller told the dispatcher.
The dispatcher then tries to determine what school the caller is referencing and if they are still in the school.
“No, we are on the bus right now,” the caller says, then adds, “My friend is going to tell you what happened.”
Another student told the dispatcher, “half of my class had to go home because he was touching other people’s butts and looking down their shirts.”
The caller said the substitute teacher walked out of the school “cussing … I was scared.”
A third student told the dispatcher the substitute teacher touched a girl’s butt, “maybe accidentally, but I doubt it.”
The dispatcher then told the students that a deputy was going to stop the bus and talk with them.
On Friday, the district sent out a notice to parents about the alleged incident.
Edgewood school officials said Monday, “This situation is under investigation. We have no additional comments to add at this time.”
Tom Issacs, superintendent of the Warren County Educational Services Center (WCESC), which through a cooperation agreement handles substitute hiring and scheduling for public school systems in both Warren and Butler counties, said his organization has started its own investigation into the allegations against the substitute teacher.
The part-time teacher, which neither police nor school officials have named, is not currently working as a substitute in any other school district in Butler or Warren counties, said Issacs.
Issacs told the Journal-News the WCESC is “just beginning our investigation, so I don’t have any comment. We will read the same (police) reports as you, and we will interview the sub.”
“Regardless, this person will not work until the matter is resolved. We have zero-tolerance for these types of allegations,” he said.
Ohio requires all substitutes to be licensed by the Ohio Department of Education, and in recent years there has also been a corresponding tightening of criminal background checks to ensure those working with children are law-abiding citizens.
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