Text messages included in a 66-page police report, indicating Dr. Heath Horton was allegedly drinking, smoking and talking graphic sex with former students.
We should first be clear that 42-year-old Dr. Heath Horton does not face any criminal charges.
School officials say they first became concerned in June, when they learned the intermediate school principal was possibly having improper relationships with former students, who now range in age from 17 to 23 years old.
Dr. Horton’s resignation is effective Oct. 9, 2023.
The Rocky River school board held a special session Thursday evening to accept the resignation of the former principal of Kensington Intermediate School.
Dr. Horton was named principal in 2021 after first serving as a vice-principal at the high school.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for us now to move forward as a school district. Looking at our district as an organization, to look at how we, going forward, do things differently so that circumstances such as this don’t happen again,” said Rocky River School Superintendent Dr. Michael Shoaf.
Horton faces no criminal charges, but a Rocky River police report includes salacious and graphic accusations from parents of former students that Horton was spending time with teens at his home in Elyria drinking, smoking, and having obscene conversations about sex.
The report also includes text messages, many of which we cannot air on television.
“I think we’re heartbroken,” said the superintendent.
According to the police report, Horton went by the nickname “H-Dawg.”
Here are some text messages we can show you…with the date they were allegedly sent.
A text from Heath read, “I bought a bottle of absolute for us to share if not tonight tomorrow”
The response read, “Alright just let me know.”
One message sent in December asked, “Where are we meeting at? I don’t want to go to a crowded bar.”
The respond read, “You pick some where today strip club lol”
According to the report, a student prepared to hang out at Horton’s house, saying he would drink some Absolute vodka from Heath and also get some beer.
“I think that when we hire people, we work really hard to make sure that we bring in really good people into the district, that care about our students,” said Dr. Shoaf.
Another text, allegedly from Heath to a student, read, “Do you mind if one of my former students join us? He from my old district. Cool dude. We just reconnected.”
Students also described a room in Horton’s house called the “Boom Boom” room, where they could pass out and sleep if they had too much to drink.
“I want to thank the community for its patience during the process and I understand that many of you maybe frustrated by how long it took,” said the superintendent.
The superintendent says as soon as they learned of the allegations, they put Horton on paid administrative leave.
He says due to Ohio law and agreements with the teachers’ union, Horton’s leave had to be paid and the length of time it took was to ensure he had due process.
The Rocky River police chief and Cuyahoga County prosecutors’ office say no charges are anticipated.
However, the Rocky River chief says it’s possible Elyria police could investigate further since that is where Horton lives.