Police hit obstacle in investigation into Rocky River High School teachers

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ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team uncovered a push to block police from gathering evidence in their investigation into teachers at Rocky River High School.

Now, a judge is giving lawyers a week to work out who gives up what records. So, it just got harder getting to the bottom of racy talk between teachers at the high school.

Rocky River police are taking a second look into talk caught on camera about an explicit picture of a female student taken by a teacher. Police first looked at text messages. They did not find a picture of a teen. Then, they reopened the case.

But, lawyers for the teachers and Rocky River City Schools want a judge to prevent police from gathering certain records from the schools. In a court filing Thursday, a lawyer for the teachers argued police are going too far since this center around “private text messages” and “private cell phones.”

Meantime, a filing from school district lawyers said the district is “legally prohibited” from giving out information from a public employee in an internal investigation.

This comes after police asked the school district for any documents and pictures related to the case. Plus, any recorded interviews, notes, internal emails, personnel files and even contracts for the companies providing internet and cell phone service for the schools.

On Thursday, parents rallied outside district headquarters demanding to know more and be involved.

What about claims of privacy in a criminal investigation? We went to Henry Hilow, a lawyer representing one of the teachers involved.

“This whole thing started about whether there was a picture. There’s no picture. And now, people want to go into a private cell phone, look in cell phones. And that’s not right,” Hilow said.

A camera used for online learning captured the video that sparked the investigation.

Two teachers discuss a photo of a student another teacher said he had taken and sent. One teacher on the recording talks about the student’s attractiveness.

“I’m thinking, is he taking pictures of her in class?” he asked. “It’s not on my phone. And I double checked to make sure there was nothing on my phone.”

So far, no one has seen any picture, but the investigation has hit a snag.

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