ROCKY RIVER, Ohio (WOIO) - The controversy surrounding Rocky River High School continues.
The Rocky River Police says it is reopening its case into teachers at the school after previously undisclosed information came to light.
In a statement released Monday night, police said the new information could indicate evidence of criminal activity.
Last week, the Rocky River Police Department said they will not be charging any of the six teachers accused of talking about a student inappropriately.
“Yeah cause I saw him in the hallway,” one teacher said in a video. “He says, ‘Yeah I’m sending a picture but it’s not working,’ and I said, ‘Of what?’ and he said, ‘I took a beaver shot of *******.”
According to the police report, the picture in question of a female student’s privates never existed, instead a teacher sent out a doctored photo of June Cleaver from ‘Leave it to Beaver’ exposing herself in a group chat among faculty members. However, interviews with students reveal more disturbing behavior from that same teacher.
April LaRowe has three daughters in the district. She was horrified when she saw the video.
“Just very protective of these kids and very enraged at these teachers who showed absolutely no concern for this girl,” LaRowe said. “It was just so upsetting and so disturbing to me and the idea of sending my kids to school with these teachers who have no concern about the safety of these girls is just very disturbing.”
The report says an anonymous student recorded two teachers who had unintentionally left their Owl camera on which records everything in the classroom.
“I’m not above being a pervert but I’m not going there,” one teacher said in the video.
“Why’d he send it to you?” the other teacher asked.
“Cause he thinks it’s acceptable, I guess,” the other teacher replied. “I mean, you know. I mean I had her in class. We had conversations where he said, ‘Uh she’s smoking hot, I think she’s the best in the school.”
The video shows two teachers talking about a picture that was sent out in a group chat between other staff members of a female student’s privates.
“I don’t feel that we need anything more than that video to know that every single one of those teachers is in the wrong,” LaRowe said. “They are mandatory reporters. There should have been no question of turning this person in and the fact that they didn’t is terrifying to trust our children with them.”
According to the report, police interviewed the potential student victim. The student said she had never sent any photos to that teacher and she never noticed him taking photos of her in class. She said he never said anything inappropriate to her. That same student told police the same teacher was known to talk with students on Snapchat and that students would send selfies of themselves at parties to that teacher and he would say whether they looked high or drunk. She also said she had heard of him having girls at his house after graduation.
Another senior student told police that during her sophomore year she received a snapchat request from the same teacher. She said they never sent inappropriate pictures, but he did make a few comments that made her uncomfortable.
“I think a lot of people are very frustrated about the police investigation and how it was done and conducted and dropped so quickly and currently the teachers are on a paid leave and we are concerned about the outcome of this investigation and about sending our girls to school with any of these teachers,” LaRowe said.
According to reports, this all began when the teacher in question stopped another teacher in the hallway to ask if he got the picture, he sent him in a group chat.
The teacher in the video told police it was loud, and he heard the words, picture, beaver, and a student’s name. In the text thread between teachers, police found a spoofed black and white image of June Cleaver exposing herself.
Police said based on the date and the content of the photo it was clear that it was the same photo discussed by the teachers in the video. Police also said the text thread did not mention any students.
“Show us the proof that prior to the video that the June Cleaver meme was sent, but even that is that appropriate,” said LaRowe. “It was very clear that there was something inappropriate and neither one of them were concerned about anything besides their careers.”
An attorney representing one of the teachers says the school district is to blame.
“I think its disingenuous when the superintendent wants to reinforce to the public that we’re there to protect your children when this became known to the administration and to the school, they waited six hours before they contacted the Rocky River Police,” said attorney Henry Hilow.
19 News reached out to the district for an interview, they did not respond to that request.
They did send us the following statement, “The Rocky River School District stands behind our actions as we have always had students’ safety and well-being at the center of our actions while adhering to board policy. We are confident that when this investigation is completed our actions will have been entirely justified. We understand that it is difficult to wait for the conclusion of the investigation. We respectfully ask for the community’s continued patience as we are legally bound to follow specific protocols and procedures.”
19 News has learned Rocky River police contacted the Cuyahoga County prosecutors’ office for search warrants. The prosecutor’s office says it was clear police were in the very early stages of their investigation and they did not have sufficient evidence to meet the legal standard for probable cause. They told police to follow up with them when they received more information, but police did not contact them again.
“We have since learned that no criminal charges were filed by Rocky River officials regarding this matter,” Tyler Sinclair with the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “Our office was not involved in the charging decision as a case was never submitted to us.
Parents plan on holding a rally at the school board on Thursday to make their voices heard. Rocky River Police say they will continue to investigate all leads in the case.