An Indian Valley teacher accused of sexual misconduct with a student younger than 10 years old had been teaching in the district for almost 20 years.
Larry Yowler, a second-grade teacher at the school, has been accused of sexually assaulting a student, according to a protection order request filed in Clark County Common Pleas Court. He is currently on paid leave while the district investigates and pending the outcome of a Feb. 5 hearing on the protection order request, according to a letter sent to Yowler by the district on Jan. 24.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the claims and no charges have been filed, Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson confirmed this week.
Yowler couldn’t be reached for comment.
The victim claims Yowler on multiple occasions allegedly touched her private areas and forced her to sit on his lap during reading time, the protection order request says.
“She also stated another student told her that this had happened to her,” the document says. “She said he has been embarrassing her and making her sad for a long time.”
The Springfield News-Sun filed a public records request for Yowler’s personnel file from Greenon Local Schools. It includes numerous positive reviews for his work in the classroom. He was hired in 1998.
He received all satisfactory or accomplished marks for his teaching methods in 2016 — the most recent evaluation in the file — and in 2014, Enon Primary School Principal Darrin Knapke said Yowler was a good teacher.
“Mr. Yowler provides his students with lessons that are both standard-aligned and highly engaging,” Knapke says in the evaluation.
He also took part in spirit days and school programs, Knapke says in the evaluation, which was appreciated by others at school.
Yowler is set to be paid more than $59,000 this year, his file says.
Yowler hasn’t been in the classroom since Jan. 19, according to the district.
“Mr. Yowler was out on leave starting Jan. 22, 2018, and has not been in the classroom since January 19, 2018,” a statement from the school says.
Clark County Sheriff Deb Burchett said the parents of the child reported the allegations to Greenon on Jan. 19.
A sheriff’s report obtained by the Springfield News-Sun shows the mother filed a report with deputies on Jan. 20.
The allegations against the teacher are serious, a parent said.
“It makes me nervous to send my kids to school,” Greenon parent Nick Hunter said.
Enon is a small community, Hunter said.
“It’s just shocking and you don’t know what to think about it,” he said.
It’s important to keep an open mind and let law enforcement and the district finish their investigation, Hunter also said.
“You have to investigate all cylinders and not just jump to conclusions, that can be dangerous for the teacher if the allegations are not true,” he said. “You can’t always trust one person’s story and you need an investigation.”