Teacher placed on leave

By Shannon Bohle - sbohle@aimmediamidwest.com

HOUSTON — A Hardin-Houston Local School District teacher has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation of an alleged sexual abuse case.

Brad Allen was placed on a non-disciplinary paid leave by Superintendent Ryan Maier after the allegations were made on Facebook. Allen, a special education teacher in the Hardin-Houston Local School District for the past 11 years, works as an intervention specialist in both the junior high and high schools, and coaches the high school’s girls varsity basketball team.

Maier explained the reason for his decision to put Allen on leave.

“It was basically a Facebook post that was put out there. The Facebook post talked about a single allegation of sexual abuse,” Maier said. “I’m not a Facebook guy because of what I do for a living, but it was then taken down about an hour later, from my understanding. It basically said the Facebook account was hacked, and it said, ‘Please ignore the disgusting post,’ or something to that effect.”

While such incidents are rare, they do happen, Maier explained, saying whether the allegations are factual or not, they require an investigation.

“Anytime we have stuff like this, and quite honestly it doesn’t happen very often, but there are protocols we as educators have to follow. When we have things like this happen, we follow the process. One of the things that we have to do is call local law officials, which I did.”

Maier found out about the Facebook post on the evening of Dec. 28, 2021, and reported the incident to the Shelby County’s Sheriff’s Office the morning of Dec. 29, 2021.

“I called because I received [the complaint]. Because we’re in Shelby County, I actually called the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, and I made a report because I’m mandated as an educator in the state of Ohio to do such. I don’t get to judge whether it has any validity or not. It’s just the protocols that are in place,” Maier said.

To Maier’s knowledge the investigation is still underway, but he believed it is taking place in Miami County, rather than in Shelby County.

“The investigation was turned over to Miami County because the employee and the accuser, they live in Miami County. So, it’s really Miami County that’s doing the investigation right now,” Maier said.

Maier stated he was not informed of a time frame as to when the investigation would be completed or when he would be informed of its results. He was, however, clear that Allen’s employment and coaching leave will continue until the investigation is completed.

“I want them to be thorough,” Maier said.

Tina M. Evans in the records department in the Miami County Sheriff’s Office confirmed, “the report that you requested is pending investigation; therefore, I have attached a generic report as I am not permitted to release any details of the investigation at this time.”

A copy of the generic report lists the reporting date as Jan. 4, 2022, and the alleged offense as “gross sexual imposition” occurring between Jan. 1, 1995 and Dec. 31, 2021.

The incident narrative provided by the detective conducting the investigation says, “On January 4, 2022, I was contacted by a Detective from the Shelby County Sheriffs Office in reference to a possible sex offense that occurred in Miami County. Information concerning this was forwarded to me for review.”

If the Facebook post’s allegations and the subsequent investigation do not result in an arrest and exonerate Allen, it could result in harming Allen’s reputation and career potential.

Maier’s hands were tied.

“When dealing with allegations,” he said, once they are made, “I have to follow protocols.”

When asked if he knew of any other complaints or concerns expressed by students, parents, staff, or teachers, against Allen, Maier said the answers is no.

By Shannon Bohle