Thursday, September 2, 2004

Springboro teacher resigns


Improper conduct with student
alleged during March class trip

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

SPRINGBORO - A 27-year-old male English teacher has resigned from Springboro High School, amid allegations of improper conduct with a female student during a class trip in March to New York City.

Douglas R. McBrierty recently submitted a one-sentence letter of resignation - two days before the start of this school year and just hours before superintendent David Baker planned to ask the board of education to suspend him without pay and begin the firing process.

"The most important thing for us was not to have Mr. McBrierty associated with the school district," Baker said. "The fastest way to do that was the resignation letter."

Police in this northern Warren County city were contacted in June after a student who went on the trip approached school officials about McBrierty's conduct. No criminal charges were filed against McBrierty, police said Tuesday.

Neither McBrierty nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.

Up until the allegations surfaced, the two-year teacher had no discipline problems, Baker said. But in an Aug. 17 letter, Baker outlined reasons why he was recommending termination of McBrierty's contract:

• Gave a backrub to at least one female student.

• Consumed alcohol in front of students.

• Allowed students to travel unsupervised.

• Lied to Baker during the investigation about improper conduct, specifically, the backrub.

• Participated in a game of "chicken" in a hotel swimming pool, which involved female students sitting on his shoulders.

• While on the trip, poured ice water and aided a student in pouring ice water on a female student while she was showering and attempted to do the same to another student.

In a July notice of a pre-disciplinary hearing, the district also told McBrierty he would be asked to explain allegations that he met socially and privately with a female student after hours in a non-school-related activity.

In exchange for his Aug. 24 resignation, the board agreed not to report his actions to the Ohio Department of Education and to tell future employers only that he voluntarily resigned, his dates of employment, and provide copies of his evaluations.

"That's a gigantic red flag to a school district," Baker said of the limited recommendations.

E-mail suek@infionline.net



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