Update as of 3/25/2021: Police have announced that no criminal charges will be filed in the investigation surrounding teachers at Rocky River High School.
Now, a total of six teachers have been taken off the job.
The investigation surrounds questions about comments made regarding a teen girl, as well as pictures of her.
The school district placed two more teachers on leave as of today, an English teacher and a Social Studies teacher.
Last week, the I-Team uncovered new information about what led to the investigation.
A police report shows an investigation began last week when the school received a “flash drive that has a video uploaded to Google classroom of teachers discussing a female student and inappropriate pictures sent by another teacher.”
A spokesperson for the district didn’t shed light on how more teachers have now been wrapped up in this, saying only, “All part of the ongoing investigation.”
The I-Team reviewed the personnel files of the first teachers involved, and the files show, overall, very high marks for job performance.
But, we found one teacher investigated in 2019 for a lesson that involved “thinly veiled references to illegal drugs.” Supervisors called that a “considerable error of judgment.”
Oddly, another teacher wrote about himself “Being a lonely man—bereft of requisite human contact…”
Rocky River police are doing a criminal investigation.
As for the school internal investigation, the school district earlier released a video statement to parents though without much detail.
Superintendent Michael Shoaf said, “We were made aware that members of our high school staff were speaking about a student in an inappropriate manner.”
Assistant Superintendent Liz Anderson said, We will respect the integrity of the investigation, and we will provide an update when this matter is concluded.”
The new developments make all of this even more alarming to parents.
One mother said to the I-Team, “What is the overall culture that exists at the school? That these men would feel comfortable discussing if there are pictures?”
She added, “Now, there is a video and proof that this is actually going on. Now, they are going to have to address it.”
While the district is looking into this administratively, Rocky River Police have been doing a criminal investigation.
We’ve learned, police have reviewed phone records and interviewed teachers. However, police have not found any illegal pictures on text messages. No records on phones of any discussion about pictures, either.
Police have not finished investigating, but so far, they’ve found nothing criminal.
On Monday, the district did send a new message to parents. That statement said, the District is “following our Board of Education policy for internal investigations. This includes interviews, review of pertinent materials, and consideration of any new facts which may come to light.”
By phone, we spoke to a recent Rocky River graduate. She told us, “I had three of the four teachers in question.” She added, “I had them for a couple of years. Nothing inappropriate happened with myself. A lot of the time, these were the teachers we wanted for our classes. Their classes were fun.”
The personnel files showed the school district had arranged interviews for last week with the first teachers involved.