School District Responds After Former Wrestling Coach Arrested on Abuse Charges

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An Ohio school district has released a statement after a former assistant wrestling coach was arrested for sexual battery in relation to a relationship he had with an 18-year-old student-athlete who was on the wrestling team. 

Nobel Local School superintendent Justin Denius and board president Ed McKee issued the statement after Shenandoah High School assistant wrestling coach James Brian Giesey was arrested. 

The school district said it was "sickened" to learn of the allegations against Giesey. 

"An adult intentionally and criminally preying on a student is evil. Every student who attends our schools has an absolute right to be safe and secure from such criminal acts. There’s nothing more important to us than the safety and well-being of the children and teenagers entrusted to us by their parents," the district said, according to reporting from WTRF

While the district said it was limited in what it could say, they wanted all students and staff to know the following:

1. The school district said Giesey was placed on administrative leave without pay and reported Giesey to the Ohio Department of Education, which would have the power to remove professional education credentials from Giesey

2. Giesey’s contract was as assistant wrestling coach ends at the end of the wrestling season and Giesey will not be back as an employee or volunteer or in any position in the District.

3. The School District is cooperating with law enforcement, prosecutors, child welfare authorities and the Department of Education to make sure justice is done.

4. Even though Giesey passed a background check before being hired, the school district wants to do even more to inquire into background of potential employees. The School District says they are working on more safeguards to protect students.

5. The School District still wants to know if any faculty or staff knew about the allegations. The District says they require teachers and coaches to immediately report any allegations of sex abuse or illegal activity.

6. An outside law firm has been hired that has no ties to the school or community to do a personnel investigation to see if anyone violated the school’s police of reporting allegations of sex abuse or illegal activity. The District says they will take responsible action against anyone that was in violation of the policies.

7. The District said they want to provide any counseling to the student that law enforcement identified as the victim and that they have guidance counselors that have counseling and support options for other students that are upset or experiencing hardship with this situation.

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