State denies new teaching license for ex-Centerville coach

A former Centerville teacher and football coach was permanently denied the ability to renew his teaching license after a state investigation found that he shared pictures of a student in her underwear in a group text message and that numerous “inappropriate” websites were viewed on his school-owned computer.

The state school board this month voted unanimously to permanently deny Brian Luebke’s license application.

The state hearing officer’s report, stemming from a January meeting, said that Luebke worked for Centerville schools from 2007 until Dec. 7, 2015, and was an assistant football coach there from 2013-15. As an intervention specialist teacher, he worked with students who had a wide variety of disabilities

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Luebke previously taught in Hamilton, Celina and other schools, and he coached for Fairmont High School from 2008-11, according to the report.

The report says that while Luebke was an assistant Centerville football coach, he participated in a group text with about eight other coaches, including then-head football coach Rodney Roberts. The group text was often a mix of coaching information, social exchanges and pictures of nude or near-nude women — a “high percentage” of which were sent by Luebke, according to the report.

In December 2015, Luebke sent the pictures of the student in her underwear to Roberts and some assistant coaches, one of whom reported him to the school principal. Luebke also kept the pictures on his school computer, and a review of the browser history on Luebke’s school-owned computer showed that he visited numerous web sites featuring “sexual content” during school hours, according to the hearing officer’s report.

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Luebke could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

In Luebke’s response to the hearing officer, through an attorney, he argued that he texted the pictures of the student in her underwear to the other coaches in an attempt to protect the student, because members of the football team had been sharing the pictures and making inappropriate comments about them on social media.

Regarding things found on his school-owned computer, Luebke argued that he frequently had to be away from the computer, and other people had access to it. The investigator wrote that evidence suggested Luebke visited the websites on his computer.

Luebke was placed on administrative leave by Centerville City Schools on Dec. 7, 2015, and he agreed on Jan. 6, 2016, to resign, effective Feb. 29, 2016, according to the state report.

Sarah Swan, community relations specialist for the school district, said Luebke “was the only staff member disciplined based on the findings of the district’s investigation.”

She added, “The district reported the situation to the Ohio Department of Education as required by law.”

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Luebke’s five-year intervention specialist license and five-year “special all grades” teaching license expired in June 2016. He applied for renewal of his license in spring 2016, and that application resulted in the state investigation.

This month, the state board permanently denied his application, saying his actions constituted conduct unbecoming an educator.

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