Female students complained for years before gym teacher lost his license

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Dayton Daily News investigates why cases of educator misconduct are at an all-time high.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is part of a Dayton Daily News investigation revealing that educators across Ohio are losing their professional licenses for misconduct at unprecedented numbers. The Daily News analyzed a database of thousands of educator misconduct files, and obtained records from schools, police departments, courts and the state, and reached out to ousted teachers and coaches. Some of the cases the newspaper found from districts across the Miami Valley have never previously been reported. Go here for the full report.

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The Ohio Department of Education took action against the professional license of a male teacher at Kings Local School District last year after years of complaints by female students that he made them uncomfortable.

Donald Carson, a Kings Local School District gym teacher, entered into a consent agreement in July 2017 whereby his license was suspended and he is prohibited from ever applying to teach in Ohio again.

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This followed a complaint on Feb. 8, 2016, from a father saying Carson made his middle school daughters uncomfortable by rubbing their backs and shoulders, and texting one of them without her parents’ knowledge. Carson was suspended the next day and resigned in March as the incident was reported to ODE.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office investigated and found no criminal activity, according to school records.

According to Carson’s personnel records, similar complaints were made to the district in 2006, 2013 and 2015. In 2015, a parent complained about a post Carson made on Facebook and criticized his continued employment. In 2013, several female students wrote narratives saying Carson made them uncomfortable. In 2006, he was confronted by a dozen female students who wrote voluntary statements.

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In 2006 and 2013, records show Carson was told by school administrators to correct his behavior.

Kings Local Treasurer Cary Furniss said neither he nor Superintendent Tim Ackerman were working in the district at the time of the earlier incidents and do not know why they were not reported to ODE.

“The current leadership team deemed the circumstances serious enough to warrant the action taken in 2016,” Furniss said. “The current leadership can’t speak to the circumstances or decisions made previously.”

Carson did not return calls seeking comment.

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