Kettering moves arrested teacher to suspended status; police investigation underway



A Kettering City Schools teacher arrested on felony charges involving pornography and juveniles has been switched from paid leave to unpaid, suspended status.

Meanwhile, the investigation of Matthew Ryan Koehler continues as police and the school district are asking the public to come forward if they know of allegations against the music and choir teacher similar to those made by a former student that led to his arrest.

The school district switched Koehler’s standing Thursday morning, less than 24 hours after he was arrested at the Kettering Police Department.

In changing Koehler’s status from paid administrative leave to a “suspension of employment” via a district letter, Superintendent Mindy McCarty-Stewart cited his arrest on charges relating to minors and nudity.

“Ohio law requires me to suspend you from all duties that require the care, custody or control of a child during any pending criminal action for such crimes,” McCarty-Stewart stated in the document.

Koehler, 37, had been placed on paid leave Nov. 20 after allegations first surfaced that years ago he “inappropriately touched” a former student who was in middle school. The former student, who is now an adult, contacted the school district last month about receiving inappropriate messages from a teacher, Kettering Chief Chip Protsman said.

After the former Kettering student’s allegation, a police investigation found pornographic material involving juveniles on Koehler’s phone, Protsman said.

Kettering Police spokeswoman Cynthia James said Thursday that detectives have had contact with other people about Koehler in the 24 hours since Protsman asked the public to reach out, although she could not give details or the number of people who called.

Credit: Kettering City Jail

Credit: Kettering City Jail

It was not clear Thursday whether Koehler has an attorney. The teacher could not be reached for comment, as he remained in the Kettering jail Thursday, online records show.

Koehler has helped direct the school district’s several choirs after being hired in 2012. Several Kettering parents and former students expressed surprise about the news this week. Comments on social media ranged from multiple people saying Koehler had been a favorite teacher, to others urging any possible victims to come forward.

Before his arrest, Koehler had no criminal record, Protsman said.

Wednesday, he was booked on two counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, and one charge each of pandering obscenity involving a minor and pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor, Protsman said.

“To say that I am disheartened that a person entrusted by virtue of his position as a teacher in our district with ensuring the social, emotional and academic well-being of students is facing these types of deeply disturbing charges is an understatement,” McCarty-Stewart wrote in a letter to school district families. “As always, our top priority is the well-being of our students and staff. In addition to our SROs, our counselors and staff members are prepared to provide any needed support or guidance to students and staff members.”

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