UPDATE: UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - A middle school teacher is front and center of an investigation after allegations of misconduct surface.
Wiley Middle School teacher Christopher Thomas has been accused of conducting an inappropriate relationship with a student. He was arraigned on sexual battery charges Thursday morning.
Thomas was hired as a Social Studies teacher in the district in August of 2007 after a thorough and clean background check. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation.
Wiley Middle School Superintendent sent home the following letter upon learning of the investigation:
Dear Parent or Guardian,
I am, unfortunately, writing you with very troubling news. We are still gathering facts, but even in this early moment, I feel that it is crucial to provide parents with as much information as we can, as soon as we can.
On Tuesday, November 10, we learned of a situation at Wiley Middle School. Just before dismissal, one of our middle school teachers was escorted from the building by two police officers. We subsequently learned from police that this teacher, Christopher Thomas, has been accused of conducting an inappropriate relationship with a Wiley student.
The details of this situation are part of an ongoing police investigation, and we are working closely with the University Heights and Eastlake Police Departments to find all the facts.
Mr. Thomas was hired as a teacher at Wiley Middle School in the 2007-2008 school year. As with all teachers, state and federal background checks were done on Mr. Thomas and yielded no indication of any past improper behavior.
There are many more facts that need to be determined before this situation can be fully addressed, both by the Police and by our District. Nevertheless, this is clearly a very serious situation. We have immediately placed a long-term substitute teacher in Mr. Thomas's class. Even though innocent until proven guilty, Mr. Thomas has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of our investigation.
We are horrified by the possibility that such an act may have occurred, and we will do everything we can to assist the student and the family.
To that end, we would like for parents and guardians to talk with your children, and if you find the children have information or have been affected, please encourage them to share that with staff members, guidance counselors, or building administrators. We wish to make every effort to provide the support and precautionary measures possible.
Please know that we are taking this situation very seriously, and we will continue to provide you with more information as it develops throughout the investigation. Until then, if you have questions, please feel free to contact our Communications Department at 216.371.7131.
Douglas G. Heuer