State revokes ex-sub teacher’s license over interactions with students

Valley View Junior High School was built in 1923 in Farmersville and expanded in 1954. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

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Valley View Junior High School was built in 1923 in Farmersville and expanded in 1954. JEREMY P. KELLEY / STAFF

A former substitute teacher in the Valley View school district had his license permanently revoked by the state school board last week, stemming from inappropriate conversations with junior high school students in 2016.

According to the report of a state hearing officer, substitute teacher Keith E. Taylor, then age 55, told students during an April 4, 2016, choir class “about when he lost his virginity and his first kiss.” The report’s “findings of fact” also said he rubbed students’ backs or shoulders.

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Taylor photographed two students without their permission and would not let them see the photos, according to the report. He told the two junior high students they were “adorable” and asked other students in the class whether the two students had boyfriends.

Taylor did not participate in a Sept. 27 Ohio Department of Education hearing on the charges against him. The state school board voted 19-0 to revoke his license last week.

Taylor could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Ben Richards, Valley View’s current superintendent, came to the district two years after the incident. He said records showed that Taylor served as a substitute for Valley View during the 2015-16 school year and was never a full-time employee.

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“I was told that as soon as we found out something, it was immediately reported,” Richards said. “This person is no longer under the employment of Valley View Local Schools and hasn’t been since the issue was reported.”

The hearing officer’s report says that complaints were made to school officials two days after the comments, and Valley View Junior High’s principal, Nichole Thomas, investigated over the next several days. The document says Taylor was informed he could no longer substitute-teach and was banished from school grounds.

School officials notified police, and the state hearing report says a search warrant was prepared for Taylor’s phone, residence and electronics. Court records do not show any charges were ever filed.

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Ohio Department of Education records show Taylor held licenses as a substitute teacher and business education teacher in Montgomery and Preble counties between 1986 and 1991, but then nothing until he obtained a substitute teaching license again in 2015.

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