The Washington County, TN Department of Education fired David Crockett High School’s soccer coach for unprofessional conduct after two instances with the same student that created “an impression of impropriety,” according to newly obtained school district records.
Records show administrators suspended Tori Head as an instructional assistant and head soccer coach in December and initially gave her a letter of guidance, but in late January, after talking with the district’s legal counsel, fired her.
District records show an assistant principal entered the “completely dark” trainer’s room in early December where he found Head and a student.
“When he turned on the lights, he found (Head) and a student lying together on a training table,” records said. “(He) stated you were lying face down with your head on your arm, while the female student…was lying on her back. Upon leaving the room, (he) left the lights on. Later that day, (he and another employee) met with you to discuss the incident’s inappropriateness.”
Before that situation, records show a special education teacher reported the same student, assigned to be in another classroom, visited Head often.
“(The teacher) had to ask (the student) to take her head off your shoulder and out of your lap which is unacceptable, and unprofessional physical contact here at school,” the letter continued.
In a response to the allegations, Head disputed the first claim, saying all of the lights were not off in the training room.
“There were lights on in the room,” she said. “…The student was also not laying down she was sitting up with her legs out icing her injury.”
As for the second accusation, Head said she was consoling the student in question when the girl put her head on her shoulder.
“I told the student to sit up and as soon as I did (the teacher) said the same thing,” Head said.
In the end, the district found Head placed herself in “a compromising position by eroding the professional boundaries that must exist between a school system employee and a student,” according to her January 31, 2018 termination letter signed by former Director of Schools Kimber Halliburton.
WCDE Director of Human Resources Dr. Susan Kiernan said she alerted the Washington County Sheriff’s Office about the situation. WCSO Chief Deputy Leighta Laitinen said the sheriff’s office did not open an investigation. When reached for comment Friday, Laitinen said while the school district alerted the sheriff’s office, there was no report of a crime by the district, the student or the parent, adding the student in question was 18-years-old.
We reached out to Head for comment Wednesday and again Thursday, but have not heard back.
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