Tipp City substitute teacher to face misdemeanor charge over explicit photo

High school student who saw photo said she thought it was an accident

TIPP CITY — Police said they were filing a misdemeanor charge of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile against a Tippecanoe High School substitute teacher accused of having a sexually explicit photo on his personal iPad that was seen by a student.

The charge against the 72-year-old man would be filed in Miami County Municipal Court, where an arraignment will be held next week, according to a report obtained Monday from the Tipp City Police Department.

A student reportedly was talking with the substitute teacher about history topics and flipping through photos on the substitute’s iPad. The teacher told police he stepped away from the iPad briefly, during which time the student continued to look at photos and came upon the inappropriate photo, according to the police report.

The student’s report was slightly different, saying she saw the photo while the substitute was scrolling through photos and discussing family history. The student said she mentioned to the teacher, who appeared not to notice, that the explicit photo should be removed from the iPad. The student told police she believed it was an accident.

After school, the student reported what they had seen to an adult, and school officials were notified Friday morning after the student told the substitute teacher they had talked with an adult. He then went with the student to talk with school officials and the School Resource Officer, at which point police detectives became involved.

The student told police she thought the incident was an “accident,” according to the report.

The teacher was employed as a long-term substitute in the library.

High school parents were notified of the incident Friday in a memo from Principal Dan Barnes.

“The safety and well being of our students are our top priorities at Tippecanoe High School, and any behavior that jeopardizes this is unacceptable,” he wrote. “I also want to encourage dialogue between you and your student to remind them that they can contact a trusted adult at the school about any situation that makes them uncomfortable. It can’t be stated enough: If you see something or hear something, say something.”

Superintendent Aaron Moran said Monday the district had no comment.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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