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Martinsville School Administration Making Policy Changes

Last updated on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

(MARTINSVILLE) - The time has come to make some policy revisions to clear up any questions about inappropriate conduct, Metropolitan School District of Martinsville Superintendent Ron Furniss said Thursday.

Julie Crothers of the Reporter-Times reports that over the next few months, the Martinsville school administration plans to revise the districts' policies, including those related to anti-harassment, teacher-student relationships and inappropriate behavior of school employees.

"We are in the process of coming up with a list of things to include," Furniss said.
He said the administration plans to have its revisions prepared and added to the district's bylaws before students return to class next fall.

The administration's plans to review the policies stem in part from two recent situations involving alleged inappropriate conduct between Martinsville teachers and a former student, Furniss said.

The most recent of these was a Thursday morning announcement that former second-grade teacher and high school tennis coach Jeff McGown has resigned from his position with the district, effective May 21. His resignation comes in the wake of three counts of child seduction, all class D felonies. The charges result from allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a girl who was a high school student at the time.

Former Martinsville teacher and boys' basketball coach Tim Wolf resigned Feb. 16. Wolf, 65, was found "in a state of nudity" in his car at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis on Feb. 12, according to a police report filed by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. A 17-year-old female was also in the car with Wolf, according to the report.

Both McGown and Wolf have been charged by the Indiana State Police with three counts each of child seduction, a class D felony. The former student allegedly admitted to police that she had a sexual relationship with both men.

Furniss said the investigation into the school district by the Indiana State Police has been completed and to the best of his knowledge, no other teachers, staff or administrators are being investigated.

"At this point, with the state police investigation over ... they were very thorough... if anything else was going on, we'd know about it," Furniss said.

With two resignations from MSD of Martinsville employees this month and two investigations into all school employees, Furniss said he's hoping to "regroup" and move forward.

The consideration to revise board policies also results from investigations by both the Indianapolis State Police and the school's attorney into Wolf, McGown and all district employees.

School attorney Susan Traynor Chastain of Bose, McKinney and Evans said she recently completed her investigation and hopes to present her results to the board by the end of June.

Once that has been completed, she said, the board will sit down with a list of school board policies and discuss how to make them more effective.

"Martinsville already has a comprehensive list of school board policies in place, so at this point we would be looking over those already in place, making a few adjustments and that sort of thing to make them more effective," she said.

Traynor Chastian said at this point, she cannot comment on what those changes would be until she has time to present her findings to the board.

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