Following an investigation into allegations of “inappropriate touching” by a substitute teacher at Madison-Plains Middle School, the district’s Board of Education has decided to put him on paid administrative leave as of Friday.
“Obviously, there is a lot of activity going on in the background,” superintendent Tim Dettwiller said. “There are meetings with school administrators and the Board of Education to see what the next step is going to be. But he is on paid leave pending further action from the board.” He added that the substitute will stay on leave until that decision has been made and that he is currently not working with the students in any capacity.
This week, after conducting interviews with the students involved in the alleged incident, detectives with the Madison County Sheriff’s office found no criminal wrongdoing. Investigators then informed Dettwiller of their conclusion on Thursday.
“We talked with the females who brought forth the allegations,” Sheriff Jim Sabin said. “The actions did not rise to the level of being criminal. Whether or not they violated the school’s rules of conduct with be up to them.” Based on the information gathered from the interviews, investigators decided not to pursue further questioning with the substitute himself.
The school district was initially made aware of the allegations on Friday afternoon, Jan. 26 when two middle school students reported that a substitute teacher touched them “inappropriately.” Dettwiller informed Child Services over that weekend and they involved the sheriff’s office by Sunday.
“The next steps will be to meet with my administrative team and go from there,” Dettwiller said. “We are making sure this is not a knee-jerk reaction and that we are having a conversation on the matter.”
Dettwiller also said they will be immediately informing the parents of the development and that once a final decision is made, parents will be updated.
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.