Pike County Times
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BREAKING NEWS: Pike County Times Reports on Brian Crow Case from Open Records Request Documents
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - On May 23, 2017, Pike County Times reported that a complaint had been filed regarding inappropriate contact between a male teacher and a female student in the Pike County School System. Brian Crow was later identified and investigated for Sexual assault by a person with supervisory or disciplinary authority under OCGA 16-6-5.1(b).

Since that time, Brian Crow resigned prior to a termination hearing being scheduled with the Pike County School System, a complaint was filed with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) by the School District, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office worked with the School District to “uncover the full extent of the relationship” in order to present a case to the Grand Jury, and the Grand Jury gave a No Bill (or refused to indict this case). The District Attorney said that this was due to a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim in this case.

The case is still being considered by the PSC, and there is a possibility of a verdict in the case as soon as next month. More information can be found about this case by reading the articles that are in date order on the page from the oldest at the bottom of the page to this article at the top. This article is a compilation of information gathered from Open Records Requests to more than one source and hours of reading and time to put the information together. As more information becomes available, Pike County Times will continue to update the articles on this page.

[Note from the Editor: I am not revealing the name of the teacher who reported this conduct because the Pike County School System and its teachers are required to report possible inappropriate conduct within 24 hours of the occurrence according to specific training that they are given before they can work in our school system. Creating a backlash against this teacher might encourage others to remain silent if they see something inappropriate, and that is not a safe environment for our children. Second, I am not revealing the name of the victim or any of the witnesses who were involved in this case. Third, it is the responsibility of those in authority to investigate complaints to determine whether the complaints are valid or not. (And I don’t care if half of the community already knows the names of those involved or can obtain names from other sources. My newspaper. My rules.)]

Crow’s Prior Record

Brian Crow performed seven months of student teaching at two separate schools in the state of Georgia in 2011 before applying to work in the Pike County School System. According to Crow’s application for employment to work in the Pike County School System, there were no resignations, terminations, or investigations for misconduct related to his prior employment, and he was not and had not been charged with any violations of the Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators or any similar professional inquiries from his previous employments that Pike County Times has been able to find.

The application for employment in a school system is quite extensive and asks very specific questions pertaining to reports of child abuse and sexual abuse as well as whether the applicant has ever had his or her teaching certificate, credentials, permit, or license of any kind denied, revoked, or suspended as well as asking whether the applicant has ever been placed on probationary status for alleged misconduct or alleged violation of professional standards or conduct and whether there are any pending investigations or adverse actions. The applicant is also required to explain whether there had ever been a surrender of a teaching certificate, credential, permit, or license of any kind before its expiration or whether the applicant had ever resigned in lieu of dismissal or termination.

After a thorough check of the applicant, Crow was hired as a long-term substitute at Pike County High School in October of 2011. He was to cover the PE vacancy until the job was filled. Prior to the beginning of his teaching career at Pike County, Crow completed mandated training (HB 250/1321) entitled “Expectations and Boundaries of Professional Educators.”

An easy overview of what is expected of our teachers here in the state of Georgia can be found by clicking through this slideshow presentation on the PSC’s Code of Ethics: www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/CTAE/Documents/GAPSC-Session-Code-of-Ethics.pdf. This slideshow includes social media, meetings with students, and other common sense items that teachers are educated about before they begin their teaching careers.

Pike County School System Investigates

According to timelines from information obtained by Open Records Request, the timeline for this complaint is as follows: A teacher witnessed two people “making out” in the Coach’s office as he went to the gym for a workout on May 19, 2017. He thought that he had witnessed students making out but when he went back to stop the conduct, he discovered Coach Crow and an 11th grade female student together. This teacher reported the conduct to the Pike County Sheriff’s Office as well as to High School Assistant Principal and School Resource Officer Deputy Wright on Saturday, May 20, 2017 within 24 hours as is required by school policy.

In the early morning hours on Monday, May 22, 2017, Superintendent Dr. Michael Duncan and High School Principal Kevin Huffstetler met with High School Teacher Brian Crow at the Central Office where Crow was placed on administrative leave with pay. Crow denied the allegations when he was interviewed by school officials. The student also denied the allegations when she was interviewed.

On May 23, 2017, an investigator from the Sheriff’s Office even asked the teacher who placed the complaint to define what he meant when he said that the couple was “making out.” The teacher stated that it looked like “two people having sex with their clothes on.”

According to notes from the school investigation in late May, the victim stated that she talked to Crow about an extracurricular sports activity and school, sometimes texted him about the sports activity, and if she needed an immediate answer, she would call him. She said that they did not communicate on social media. She also said that she was showing Coach Crow a video on the day that their interaction was reported and that he was bent over her watching a video.

Crow was to remain on administrative leave with pay until the Termination Hearing was held. However, Crow resigned before the hearing. His termination was facilitated by a law firm out of Macon, Georgia. More on this below.

Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) Becomes Involved

On June 5, 2017, Deputy Superintendent Linda Tanner sent a certified letter to the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) regarding Crow. It stated that the letter of complaint is in compliance with Standard 2: Conduct with students and noted two violations of conduct. The first was defined as “Committing any sexual act with a student or soliciting such from a student,” and the second was “Soliciting, encouraging, or consummating an inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, or physical relationship with a student.”

The letter laid out the circumstances involving Crow and an 11th grade student in the complaint placed by the teacher/eye witness who reported the incident to authorities as is required by the Pike County School System. The letter was ended with key attachments being provided for the investigation and the following quote: “It must be noted that the student [name redacted by the school system] is uncooperative in this investigation, as is her mother, [name redacted by the school system], who wants the incident to go away.”

On July 11, 2017, a letter received by the Pike County School System regarding Crow and his employment from Brian Smith of Adams, Hemingway & Wilson LLP out of Macon, Georgia. This letter laid out an agreement between Crow and the Pike County School System that Crow would resign from his employment at the end of the 2016-2017 school year and that his resignation would be accepted by the Pike County Board of Education at its next meeting. It also said that he would receive his accrued pay over the balance of the payroll year through August of 2017, and that he would retain all benefits and health insurance through the end of his paychecks which would cease in August 2017 but allow health insurance through September of 2017. The signed July 6, 2017 letter advised that Crow tendered his resignation from employment with the Pike County School District at the conclusion of the 2016-2017 year, and a signed letter from Brian Crow advising of his resignation was included.

The separation process then began with the school system including the Separation Notice for the State Department of Labor for the school system that stated the reason for Crow’s separation from employment as “Resignation” per the letter from the attorney’s office. However, the PSC investigation continued to roll forward.

On July 17, 2017, the PSC sent a letter of reply to the school system advising that it was in receipt of the school’s letter concerning Crow and a possible violation of the Code of Ethics for Educators and would be conducting a complete investigation of the matter as the school requested. An investigator was assigned to this case who would be working directly with the school on this matter.

The complaint against Crow read as follows: “The educator engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student. The educator had inappropriate contact and communications with a student. The educator had inappropriate physical contact with a student. A coworker discovered the educator engaging in inappropriate physical contact / sexual contact with a student on school grounds. A law enforcement investigation was underway at the time of the report to the Commission. Law enforcement subpoenaed the educator’s cell phone records and found 121 calls between the educator and student within a four week period.”

On July 27, 2017, Deputy Superintendent Ross Iddings provided necessary information to the PSC investigator per her request as the investigation into these allegations continued. In it, four specific questions were asked and answered.

1. “Was there any video of the incident? No. Since this specific event took place inside a coach’s office, there is no video evidence. There is, however, the eyewitness statement for Pike County Teacher [Pike County Times is redacting this name of its own volition]. His statement has been previously submitted to the PSC.”

2. “Do we have a written statement from Mr. Crow? No. Mr. Crow denied allegations and any inappropriate conduct during interviews. He did not submit a written statement. Mr. Crow did submit, however, his resignation which was dated July 6, 2017.”

3. “Do we have a written statement from the student [student name redacted by the school]? No. Although notes taken during an interview with the student were previously submitted, the student declined to provide a written statement and denies any wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Crow. Additionally, [student name redacted] parents have also declined to provide a statement regarding the incident.”

4. “Is the student still enrolled? Yes. [Student name redacted by the school] is currently enrolled and will be a 12th grade student at Pike County High School. (The school year begins on August 16, 2017.)”

District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office Investigate

Brian Heath Crow was investigated on the charge of Sexual Assault of a Student at Pike County High School. According to the investigative report, when the investigator interviewed Crow for this case and read him the Miranda Warning (You have the right to remain silent, the right to legal counsel, and the right to be told that anything he/she says can be used in court against you…), Crow stated that he did not want to speak to the investigator without a lawyer being present. The interview was ended at that point, but the Pike County Sheriff’s Office continued the investigation.

School staff called the Sheriff’s Office and turned over what was believed to be handwritten notes between Crow and the victim and several towels with stains from a locked gym locker belonging to Crow as possible evidence.

Investigators talked to multiple possible witnesses to investigate these allegations. Investigators even looked into another allegation of inappropriate conduct from 2015, but no evidence was found and the person involved in the rumor told investigators that it was untrue. According to documentation obtained from the school, officials had looked into these allegations as well.

A subpoena for the production of evidence was issued to the Spalding County Board of Education for any and all information pertaining to Crow’s employee file including disciplinary actions, reprimands, and termination of employment. Spalding County turned over documentation that showed Crow’s pay rate, the dates that he substituted and at what school, his application and all necessary accompanying documents. Nothing of particular interest shows in this documentation.

A search warrant was issued to Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media apps. Another was issued to locate electronic communication devices such as cell phones, ipads, tables, etc. A search warrant was also issued to Verizon for Crow’s phone number. A Microsoft Surface Computer and one Apple 1 Phone 4S were also collected as possible evidence.

No text messages were found on the confiscated phone nor were there any messages on Snapchat or other social media belonging to Crow and the victim. However, there was a total of 121 phone calls made and received between the two phone numbers during a four week period from April 20, 2017 to May 20, 2017. Calls ranged from between a few seconds to over an hour long.

Furthermore, a search warrant was executed on the phone to retrieve any data from the phone. Investigative documents reveal that nothing relating to the investigation was recovered from the phone but noted that the phone appeared to have been used at one point, deactivated, and then recently reactivated.

According to information obtained by Open Records Request, representatives from the District Attorney’s (DA) Office spoke with the victim’s mother in August and advised that the case would be going to the Grand Jury in October of 2017. The mother advised that her daughter says that nothing happened. Notes say that the mother just wants it to go away.

District Attorney Ben Coker advised by phone on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 that he and Major Neal of the Pike County Sheriff's Office presented the case to the Grand Jury for deliberation on October 16, 2017. Coker advised that the District Attorney's Office and the Pike County Sheriff's Office both felt obligated to present this to the Grand Jury.

DA Coker said that it appeared that the Grand Jury gave much thought to the deliberation on this case, but the Grand Jury came back with a No Bill on this case which means that there was not sufficient evidence for an indictment on a criminal charge in this case. DA Coker spoke on the No Bill by saying, "In my opinion, the indictment was not handed down because of lack cooperation from the alleged victim in this case. We can re-present the case if any new evidence comes to light."

Closing

Pike County Times was advised that the case that is pending before the PSC could be decided in the December meeting. For more information about how the Hearing Process works, click here. And the five stages of disciplinary actions and the consequences related to educator teaching certificates can be viewed by clicking here.

If Crow is found guilty of violations of the Code of Ethics, consequences can range from a warning to revocation of his teaching certificate. Pike County Times will continue to report on this case if any other evidence comes to light and will follow this case through to its conclusion.

Those on the Breaking News List will receive this information before it is posted on the front page of Pike County Times.


Introducing the first sponsor of Pike County Times’ Breaking News Alerts! First Bank of Pike has been serving customers in Pike County and the surrounding area since 1901 and offers Personal and Business banking with a personal touch. Services include checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, and IRA’s. Mobile Banking and Bill Payment services are also available! Click here for more. Please let First Bank of Pike know that you appreciate their sponsorship of Breaking News Alerts on Pike County's only FREE online newspaper!

If you want to find out about how you can get Breaking News Alerts, click here. Thanks for reading and supporting Pike County Times.com!

11.10.17
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BREAKING NEWS: Latest Update on Allegations of Inappropriate Contact Between Pike Teacher
Brian Crow and Student Including No Bill and PSC
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - On May 23, 2017, Pike County Times reported that a complaint had been filed regarding a complaint of inappropriate contact between Brian Crow and a female student in the Pike County School System. Since that time, Brian Crow resigned prior to a termination hearing being scheduled with the Pike County School System, a complaint was filed with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) by the School District, and the Pike County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office have been working with the School District to “uncover the full extent of the relationship” in order to present a case to the Grand Jury.

This article is an update on the overall investigation with the PSC and the finding of the Grand Jury on this case. Pike County Times will continue to follow this case through to its conclusion.

Pike County School System

Pike County Times contacted the Pike County School System for additional information on what would have brought about a complaint like this and Ross Iddings, Deputy Superintendent for the School Distict, sent two links that shed some light on this subject.

This first is from Georgia law and defines sexual assault according to Chapter 16 of Georgia State Law. Click here to read it.

Second, the Pike County School System requires the reporting of acts of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by any of its teachers, counselors, and administrators. The following is from the Student Reporting Requirement that was updated in 2015 and can be found by clicking here.

Acts of Sexual Abuse or Sexual Misconduct

(a) Any student (or parent or friend of a student) who has been the victim of an act of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct by a teacher, administrator or other school system employee is urged to make an oral report of the act to any teacher, counselor or administrator at his/her school.

(b) Any teacher, counselor or administrator receiving a report of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct of a student by a teacher, administrator or other employee shall make an oral report of the incident immediately by telephone or otherwise to the school principal or principal’s designee, and shall submit a written report of the incident to the school principal or principal’s designee within 24 hours. If the principal is the person accused of the sexual abuse or sexual misconduct, the oral and written reports should be made to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee.

(c) Any school principal or principal’s designee receiving a report of sexual abuse as defined in O.C.G.A. 19-7-5 shall make an oral report immediately, but in no case later than 24 hours from the time there is reasonable cause to believe a child has been abused. The report should be made by telephone and followed by a written report in writing, if requested, to a child welfare agency providing protective services, as designated by the Department of Human Resources, or, in the absence of such agency, to an appropriate police authority or district attorney.

Reports of acts of sexual misconduct against a student by a teacher, administrator or other employee not covered by O.C.G.A. 19-7-5 or 20-2-1184 shall be investigated immediately by school or system personnel. If the investigation of the allegation of sexual misconduct indicates a reasonable cause to believe that the report of sexual misconduct is valid, the school principal or principal’s designee shall make an immediate written report to the superintendent and the Professional Standards Commission Ethics Division.

"I can confirm for you that Mr. Crow is no longer an employee of the Pike County School System," Deputy Superintendent Iddings said by email today.

Professional Standards Commission (PSC)

Assistant Director of Educator Ethics/Chief Investigator, John Grant, was gracious to speak to Pike County Times by phone yesterday in regard to this case. He advised that the PSC is moving forward to determine whether there is enough evidence to sanction Mr. Crow's teaching certificate. Sanctions, if given in this or any other case presented to the PSC, can range from warning to revocation. The educator's certificate remains in effect until a final decision is determined by the PSC.

Investigator Grant advised that the outcome from the Grand Jury proceedings (discussed below) is one of many factors that will be considered when determining whether sanctions are warranted. The standard of proof for the PSC is the preponderance of the evidence, which is a lower standard of proof than beyond a reasonable doubt which is required in a criminal case. According to legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com, preponderance of the evidence is: "the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence. Thus, one clearly knowledgeable witness may provide a preponderance of evidence over a dozen witnesses with hazy testimony, or a signed agreement with definite terms may outweigh opinions or speculation about what the parties intended. Preponderance of the evidence is required in a civil case and is contrasted with "beyond a reasonable doubt," which is the more severe test of evidence required to convict in a criminal trial. No matter what the definition stated in various legal opinions, the meaning is somewhat subjective."

The process with the PSC includes hearings and an appeals process that will be available to Mr. Crow. Investigator Grant could give no details on this specific case for the record except that the case summary is being prepared. As soon as the case summary is completed, it will be presented to the PSC at an upcoming meeting and a decision can be made. He anticipates that this will occur in December.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission has a presentation online pertaining to the Code of Ethics that is enforced by the PSC. It can be reviewed in detail at http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/CTAE/Documents/GAPSC-Session-Code-of-Ethics.pdf.

Some of the items included are: Section 20-2-984.1. Adoption of a Code of Ethics. "(a) It shall be the duty of the commission to adopt standards of performance and a code of ethics for educators ... which are generally accepted by educators of this state." It also goes on to address some common sense items for educators like always maintaining a professional relationship with students both in and out of the classroom and that "a student is anyone under the age of 18 or a student enrolled in grades Pre-K to 12 in a public or private school." It also lays out common sense items pertaining to electronic communications and relationships with students.

For more information about how the Hearing Process works, click here. The five stages of disciplinary actions and the consequences related to educator teaching certificates can be viewed by clicking here.

Grand Jury Proceedings

District Attorney Ben Coker advised by phone on Wednesday that he and Major Neal of the Pike County Sheriff's Office presented the case to the Grand Jury for deliberation on October 16, 2017. Coker advised that the District Attorney's Office and the Pike County Sheriff's Office both felt obligated to present this to the Grand Jury.

DA Coker said that it appeared that the Grand Jury gave much thought to the deliberation on this case; however, the Grand Jury came back with a No Bill on this case. According to definitions.uslegal.com, "No Bill refers to a grand jury's notation that insufficient evidence exists for an indictment on a criminal charge. The foreman of the Grand Jury writes across the face of a bill of indictment, ‘no bill’ to indicate that the criminal charges alleged therein against a suspect have not been sufficiently supported by the evidence presented before it to warrant his or her criminal prosecution."

DA Coker spoke on the No Bill by saying, "In my opinion, the indictment was not handed down because of lack cooperation from the alleged victim in this case. We can re-present the case if any new evidence comes to light."

Closing

Pike County Times has requested the case file on Brian Crow. It is currently in the process of being redacted so I can receive it and write on it. Look for an update here next week. Pike County Times does NOT reveal the name of victims in cases like this.

Those on the Breaking News List will receive this information before it is posted on the front page of Pike County Times.


Introducing the first sponsor of Pike County Times’ Breaking News Alerts! First Bank of Pike has been serving customers in Pike County and the surrounding area since 1901 and offers Personal and Business banking with a personal touch. Services include checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, and IRA’s. Mobile Banking and Bill Payment services are also available! Click here for more. Please let First Bank of Pike know that you appreciate their sponsorship of Breaking News Alerts on Pike County's only FREE online newspaper!

If you want to find out about how you can get Breaking News Alerts, click here. Thanks for reading and supporting Pike County Times.com!

11.1.17
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BREAKING NEWS: Latest Update on Allegations of Inappropriate Contact Between Pike Teacher and Student
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - On May 23, 2017, Pike County Times reported that a complaint had been filed regarding a complaint of inappropriate contact between a male teacher and a female student in the Pike County School System. The teacher has since been identified as Brian Crow.

Pike County Times has made several phone calls over the past two days in order to provide an update from the Pike County School System, the Pike County Sheriff's Office, the District Attorney's Office, and the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) regarding the complaint.

Pike County School System

According to a press release from May 23 (see more details in the stories below) a Pike County High School teacher reported witnessed a male teacher engaged in inappropriate contact with a female student on Saturday, May 20, 2017. This was reported to the School District. The school system placed Crow on administrative leave pending a termination hearing at that time and cooperated with the Pike County Sheriff's Office as an investigation was conducted.

Superintendent Michael Duncan advised yesterday that Brian Crow resigned prior to a termination hearing being scheduled. "The Board (Board of Education) accepted his resignation at a called meeting several weeks ago," he said.

While this ends Crow's employment with the Pike County School System, a complaint had been placed with the PSC regarding his teaching certification. More on that in a moment.

Pike County Sheriff's Office

Pike County Times was informed that the Pike County Sheriff’s Office was working with the District to “uncover the full extent of the relationship” between this teacher and student. Major David Neal of the Pike County Sheriff's Office advised an update by phone today on that investigation.

"The Sheriff's Office has completed the investigation and all of the findings have been turned over to the District Attorney's Office for their review," said Major Neal. No further information could be provided on this case to the media from the Sheriff's Office at this time.

District Attorney's Office

District Attorney Ben Coker spoke to Pike County Times by phone today to confirm that the investigation from the Pike County Sheriff's Office had been turned over to Office of the District Attorney for review.

"We have the case and we intend for it to proceed further," Coker said. This is all of the information that can be provided to the media on this case at this time.

Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC)

An ethics complaint was filed with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) against Crow by the Pike County School System. The Georgia PSC holds his license and will be in charge of conducting an independent investigation and making a final decision on the status of his certification. This hearing is being conducted even though Crow resigned from his teaching position in the Pike County School System.

The Georgia PSC met at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on July 13, 2017 and a decision was made to conduct an investigation on this case. (More information about how this investigation is in the article directly below this one.) Ultimately, this investigation will determine whether or not Crow's certification will be sanctioned.

According to Chief Investigator John Grant, this case is still under investigation, and Crow has not surrendered his teaching certification at this time. The case will remain active until a final action is taken by the Commission. He also advised that no criminal charges have been made at this time. Investigator Grant could provide no other specifics on this case per normal operating protocol.

After the investigation is completed, the Commission will examine the investigative report and decide whether sanctions are warranted. Those sanctions can include warning, reprimand, a suspension or a revocation of certification. The Commission could also decide that there is no probable cause for sanctions.

If sanctions are recommended by the PSC, there will be an opportunity for Crow to decide whether or not he will accept the decision of the Commission or take it to another level for further, final review.

Further information about past and upcoming Commission meetings can be found at www.gapsc.com. Readers can get an idea of how this case will be heard by reviewing old minutes located on this page.

Pike County Times will continue to follow up on this story.


Introducing the first sponsor of Pike County Times’ Breaking News Alerts! First Bank of Pike has been serving customers in Pike County and the surrounding area since 1901 and offers Personal and Business banking with a personal touch. Services include checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, and IRA’s. Mobile Banking and Bill Payment services are also available! Click here for more. Please let First Bank of Pike know that you appreciate their sponsorship of Breaking News Alerts on Pike County's only FREE online newspaper!

If you want to find out about how you can get Breaking News Alerts, click here. Thanks for reading and supporting Pike County Times.com!

8.11.17
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BREAKING NEWS: Update on Allegations of Inappropriate Contact Between Pike Teacher and Student
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - On May 23, 2017, Pike County Times reported that a complaint had been filed regarding a complaint of inappropriate contact between a male teacher and a female student in the Pike County School System. Pike County Times has confirmed that an ethics complaint has been filed with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) against a Pike County teacher, confirmed who the teacher is, and has received information related PSC procedure related to this type of complaint.

According to the press release released from the Pike County School System on May 23, a Pike County High School teacher reported to District Officials that they witnessed a male teacher engaged in inappropriate contact with a female student on Saturday, May 20, 2017. The release also advised that the school district had placed this employee on administrative leave pending a termination hearing and that the Pike County Sheriff’s Office was working with the District to “uncover the full extent of the relationship.”

The Pike County Sheriff’s Office advised by press release on that same night that it was conducting an investigation into the allegations and that the “Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office and School System have been in close contact as this case is being investigated.” Investigators have been following leads since that time and nothing further has been released from the Sheriff’s Office or the School District.

A representative of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (PSC) confirmed that an ethics complaint has been filed against Brian Crow by the Pike County School System. The Georgia PSC holds his license and will be in charge of conducting an independent investigation and making a final decision on the status of his certification.

“The PSC does not provide any information—only confirms that they do have a complaint on Brian Crow,” he said. "The PSC does not discuss open investigations; however, we can confirm when a complaint on an educator is received.”

According to Chief Investigator John Grant, the Georgia PSC will meet at its regularly scheduled monthly meeting on July 13, 2017 and will make a decision on whether or not an investigation will be conducted. If a decision is made to conduct an investigation, an investigator will be assigned to this case to prepare a report for the Commission to review.

It usually takes a couple of months to prepare the report for the Commission. The Commission will then review an anonymous report that will not contain a name or a school system in order to avoid Commissioners possibly knowing the person involved in the complaint.

Then the Commission will examine the investigative report and decide whether sanctions are warranted. Those sanctions can include warning, reprimand, a suspension or a revocation of certification. The Commission could also decide that there is no probable cause for sanctions.

Once a decision is made on a sanction, information on the sanction will be given to the educator who will decide if he wants to accept it or implement his Due Process rights. If he demands Due Process, there will be a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge and then the Attorney General’s Office will take over from the PSC and prepare the case that will be heard before the Administrative Law Judge. “Once the Administrative Law Judge rules, the PSC considers that a final action. However, the accused educator in general can ask for a review by a Superior Court Judge.” Then that would be a final action.

Some items of note are that any citizen can file a complaint as long as it is signed but a majority of the complaints come from school systems as they finish their investigations. Any investigation from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office would be separate from the Commission’s investigation but would be included in the finding for the Commission. [Note from the Editor: And it is my understanding that this hearing will be conducted even if a resignation is submitted on a local level.]

Major David Neal advised by phone today, “The Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office will be meeting in the near future to evaluate what and if any charges are warranted in this case.”

Further information about past and upcoming Commission meetings can be found at www.gapsc.com. Readers can get an idea of how this case will be heard by reviewing old minutes located on this page.

Pike County Times will continue to follow up on this story.


Introducing the first sponsor of Pike County Times’ Breaking News Alerts! First Bank of Pike has been serving customers in Pike County and the surrounding area since 1901 and offers Personal and Business banking with a personal touch. Services include checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit, and IRA’s. Mobile Banking and Bill Payment services are also available! Click here for more. Please let First Bank of Pike know that you appreciate their sponsorship of Breaking News Alerts on Pike County's only FREE online newspaper!

If you want to find out about how you can get Breaking News Alerts, click here. Thanks for reading and supporting Pike County Times.com!

6.21.17
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BREAKING NEWS: Allegations of Inappropriate Contact Between a Teacher and Student Prompt Investigation
By Editor Becky Watts

ZEBULON - An allegation of a coach being arrested and fired for having an affair with a student appeared on social media from another local media outlet tonight. Within minutes, social media lit up and so did my phone and Facebook. There is not a lot of information available at this time. However, this is what I received when I contacted both the School System and Pike County Sheriff's Office.

Pike County School System Statement

The following is a press release from the Pike County School System regarding a complaint of inappropriate contact between a male teacher and a female student. The information is copied verbatim from an email that I received this evening.

"On Saturday May 20, a Pike County High School teacher reported to District Officials that they witnessed a male teacher engaged in inappropriate contact with a female student. As a result of the District investigation, the employee is on administrative leave pending a termination hearing. The School District is cooperating with the Pike County Sheriff’s Department to uncover the full extent of the relationship.

Although we are angry and heartbroken, the courage and sense of duty exhibited by the staff member who reported the incident is a reminder to our community that our teachers take their professional responsibilities seriously and care deeply for the welfare of each child. It is disappointing that the actions of one shed a negative light on our school system."

Pike County Sheriff's Office Statement

The following is a statement from the Pike County Sheriff's Office regarding this same complaint that was issued this evening.

"Due to the numerous rumors that are being passed around social media the Pike County Sheriff's Office makes the following press release:

The Pike County Sheriff's Office has an open investigation in reference to allegations that have been made against a teacher. The Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office and School System have been in close contact as this case is being investigated. The case remains open and Investigators continue to follow leads as they develop. As in any investigation new information and "rumor mill" statements must be followed up on to determine fact from fiction.

Anyone with any information pertaining to this case can contact an Investigator at 770-567-8431.

If there are any new developments in this case the media and public will be updated when possible.

At this time no arrest has been made in this case."

Closing

At this time, this is all of the information that is available. Pike County Times will continue to follow this story as it develops.


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5.23.17
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