The Ohio State Board of Education is expected Tuesday to vote on permanently revoking the teaching license for a former athletic director convicted in March of sexual battery.
Chad Little, 45, had been the athletic director for 17 years at Bloom-Carroll High School when he was arrested in September. He was accused of sexually abusing a student at the high school where he worked for about two-and-a-half years. He initially pleaded not guilty to four counts of sexual battery but changed his plea to guilty in January as part of a plea deal.
At its meeting Tuesday, the State Board of Education is scheduled to vote on nearly a dozen license revocations for teachers, aides and principals, which includes Little's licenses, WCMH-TV reported.
According to board meeting materials, Little submitted a voluntary license surrender to the board on March 9, the same day he was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.
LIttle's case has prompted a half-dozen reports in AB Today dating back to Sept. 22, 2022.
The abuse started in March 2018, when the student, Makenzee Mason, was a sophomore and athlete under Little’s authority, Fairfield County Prosecutor Kyle Witt said at Little’s sentencing. WCMH-TV said it does not normally name victims of sexual violence, but Mason consented to have her identity disclosed.
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As part of Little’s license surrender, all pending license applications will be denied — and he will be forever barred from educator licensure in the state. According to the Ohio Department of Education and as reported by WCMH-TV, Little holds the following licenses, originally set to expire June 30:
- 5-year Professional High School License for teaching history
- 5-year Professional Intervention Specialist (K-12) License
- 5-year Professional Principal License for Pre-K through grade 12
- 5-year Professional Superintendent License
- 5-year Pupil Activity Permit for coaching
Little coached the girls basketball team at Bloom-Carroll until the end of the 2018-19 season, according to a civil complaint against Little and school administrators. He was Mason’s coach when he began a campaign of “aggressive grooming,” the complaint stated, including frequent private calls and texts and invitations to his private residence.
After building rapport with Mason, who was 16 and 17 at the time, Little then escalated the abuse to physical and sexual encounters, the complaint claimed, including in his office after games. He frequently used violence to force the athlete to commit sexual acts, and he threatened suicide if she reported him.
In a statement, one of Mason’s attorneys, Craig Tuttle, said that Little is dangerous and he's glad he won't be allowed to teach again.
“This man is clearly a danger to young and impressionable students, and has no business being anywhere in or around a school ever again,” Tuttle said, as reported by WCMH-TV. “We only wish that the Ohio Department of Education had taken action sooner to protect students, including Makenzee, from his continued abuse and inappropriate behavior over the past two decades.”
Mason filed a civil lawsuit in October 2022 in U.S. District Court in Columbus alleging the school district did nothing to protect her from ongoing sexual abuse by LIttle. The Ohio Department of Education was originally named in the suit, but it was removed after it failed to respond to the complaint.
The civil suit argued that school administrators were aware of Little’s proclivity for inappropriate contact with students, citing his previous sanctions for his private messages to students.
The civil case, which was paused during criminal proceedings against Little, is in the discovery phase, with expert discovery due in May and all other evidence due to the court in December, WCMH-TV reported.
The suit outlines more than a half dozen complaints made against Little to the district and Ohio Department of Education from 2013 to 2019, including claims of Little being seen alone in public with students and that a student was living at his home.
The stated threatened Little with license suspension in 2020 after it investigated reports of Little’s inappropriate communication with students, but it waived the suspension as long as he completed community service and “training on professional boundaries,” according to his personnel record.
Little resigned from the district in November while he was on unpaid leave. Upon release, he will be registered as a sex offender for life, as required by Ohio law for sexual battery convictions.
Bloom-Carroll district officials did not respond to a WCMH-TV request for comment.