Tracey Abraham is an Ohio substitute teacher accused of masturbating in front of middle school students, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Abraham, a 41-year-old teacher who was working at Creekside Elementary School in Fairfield, was arrested after police said he was caught on video “masturbating in a classroom while students were present.”
Abraham was charged with public indecency.
Fairfield schools said in a statement that students reported “suspicious behavior by the substitute that was taking place behind” the teacher’s desk.
Abraham was immediately removed from the classroom.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Students Reported ‘Suspicious Behavior’ Behind Abraham’s Desk
The Journal-News reported that a Fairfield school resource officer at Creekside Middle School received multiple complaints of Abraham’s “suspicious behavior” behind a classroom desk.
No students were physically involved nor were touched by the teacher, officials said.
“I see his arm moving and it distracted me, it caught my eye. And, I just look at him and I say ‘hey, what are you doing?’ and he told me to mind my own business,” a student told WXIX.
The resource officer removed Abraham from the room and called the police.
“The principal told him that they want to talk to him outside of the room. When he came back inside to get his phone, the resource officer was with them. And then detectives came in the school,” the student told WXIX.
2. Abraham Was Charged With Public Indecency
Abraham was charged with public indecency after the incident. He was booked and arraigned in Fairfield Municipal Court Tuesday.
According to court records, Judge Joyce Campbell released Abraham on his own recognizance but ordered him to stay away from any locations where children under 18 may be present.
He is due back in court on January 15.
3. Abraham’s Dad Insists Students Were Mistaken
Abraham’s father, Rick, told The Cincinnati Enquirer that he thinks the students were confused about what they saw.
Rick Abraham told the outlet that his son “never had an issue like this in his life.”
“I don’t think what they saw is what really was happening,” he said.
4. School Officials Say There Was ‘Nothing’ Alarming in Abraham’s Background Check
School spokeswoman Gina Gentry-Fletcher said in a statement that Abraham was removed immediately from the building and added that no students were physically touched or were exposed to nudity.
“Once the administration at Creekside Middle School was made aware of this behavior, the school resource officer immediately removed the substitute teacher from the classroom and building,” said Gentry-Fletcher. “At this time, the school district is not aware of the substitute teacher having physical contact with any of our students. In addition, we are not aware of any students being exposed to any nudity.”
Chris Brown, the superintendent of Butler County Educational Services Center, which provides substitute teachers to the school system, said that Abraham passed all of his FBI background checks since 2012.
“He also went through a background check in 2017, and there has been nothing in his background,” Brown said.
Brown said Abraham has worked in other school systems in Butler and Warren Counties but there are no records of complaints against him.
5. School District Says Abraham Will Not Return to The Classroom
The Fairfield City School District said in a statement that Abraham will not be returning to the classroom:
In an attempt to keep our school community informed, we want to share some information with you about an incident that occurred on January 8, 2019 with a substitute teacher at Creekside Middle School. Students reported suspicious behavior by the substitute that was taking place behind that teacher’s desk. Once the administration at Creekside Middle School was made aware of this behavior, the school resource officer immediately removed the substitute teacher from the classroom and building. Later in the day, the substitute teacher was charged by the Fairfield Police Department with public indecency. At this time, the school district is not aware of the substitute teacher having physical contact with any of our students. In addition, we are not aware of any students being exposed to any nudity. The Creekside Middle School administrative team has made attempts to personally contact the parents/guardians of every student who was in this substitute teacher’s classroom today.
We want to assure you that this individual will not be returning to our schools. The school district will be reporting this incident to the Ohio Department of Education. Providing a safe, secure and positive learning environment for our students and staff has always been and will continue to be our most important priority. Our local Fairfield Police Department has again proven to be an outstanding partner in these types of unfortunate situations, and we greatly appreciate their service.
The Fairfield Police Department has also released a statement in regard to this matter. You may visit their website or social media accounts for more information.
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