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Rocky River police decline to file charges in probe of inappropriate conduct by several high school teachers

Two staff members were filmed discussing an alleged inappropriate photo of a student, but authorities determined there was 'no evidence' the photo existed.

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Police in Rocky River have declined to file charges following an investigation into alleged inappropriate conduct by staff members at the high school.

Officials had been looking into a filmed video conversation between two teachers, who were discussing an alleged sexually explicit photo of a female student taken by one of their staff colleagues. One of the two in the video accused the suspect of sending him the picture via text, although he claimed he didn't receive or see it because he had the number blocked on his phone.

In a statement issued Thursday night, Rocky River police said they had determined there was "insufficient evidence" to charge anyone involved in the incident. In addition, "No evidence of photos of students or inappropriate discussions about students were contained in the text message thread among the teachers."

3News has obtained a copy of the video in question which police reports indicate was recorded by accident by the teachers who were still in the classroom where a virtual class had just taken place. In the video, one teacher refers to the student (whose name has been redacted) as "smoking hot" and "really freaking put together," but both teachers condemned the staff member who attempted to send the image via text message. The staff member the teachers were referring to was not in the classroom with them. 

"I'm not above being a pervert, but I'm not going there, I can tell you that," one of the teachers in the video said before further claiming he lied and told the sender he received the pic in order to avoid revealing he had blocked his number. 

In total, the Rocky River school district placed six staff members on leave after the allegations came to light. The administrative investigation into their conduct continues, and police say they will continue to evaluate the matter if new information comes to light.

"If the current investigation concludes the staff members in question failed to act appropriately, then disciplainary action will be taken," said Assistant Superintendent Liz Anderson in a statement released on video.

"I'm disgusted, I'm shocked, and as a father of a teenage daughter in this district, I'm angry," Superintendent Michael Shoaf added. "What was stated by these staff members was not only inappropriate and unprofessional, it was offensive."

Watch the district's video statement below:

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