ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — Rocky River school leaders have put out a statement after police 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."
Police say they will continue to evaluate the matter if new information comes to light.
While the criminal case may be closed, the Rocky River School District is continuing its administrative investigation into the incident. The district placed six staff members on leave after the allegations came to light.
"I'm disgusted, I'm shocked, and as a father of a teenage daughter in this district, I'm angry," Superintendent Michael Shoaf said in a video statement. "What was stated by these staff members was not only inappropriate and unprofessional, it was offensive."
"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 added in the video statement. Shoaf added that the district will respect the integrity of the investigation.
3News 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.
Watch the district's video statement below:
- Rocky River police decline to file charges in probe of inappropriate conduct by several high school teachers
- Two more staff members placed on leave at Rocky River High School following reports of discussing a student in an 'inappropriate manner'
- Several staff members at Rocky River High School placed on leave after reports they discussed student in 'inappropriate manner'