Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
 
Online
Welcome to Pike County Times.com

This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. If you enjoy reading Pike County Times, consider buying an advertisement for your business or sending a donation to support the only free online newspaper in Pike County. Donations can be sent to: The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Thanks for supporting Pike County's only free online newspaper!

 

Click here to go to First Bank of Pike's Website
 

Submitted photo.
 
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
Top
 
 
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
Top
 
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.


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!

5.23.17
Top