Charter schools at center of complaints to Ohio Board of Ed

Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 @ 3:53 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 @ 3:53 PM


            Charter schools at center of complaints to Ohio Board of Ed

A Dayton charter school raided by the FBI last month now will be the center of an investigation by the Ohio Department of Education after allegations that included student sex acts, attendance rate falsification and test tampering.

Four former employees of the Dayton Horizon Science Academy, 250 Shoup Mill Road, testified in front of the department of education in Columbus on Tuesday and said students engaged in oral sex while others watched.

"I don't think parents had any idea what was going on at the school," said Kellie Kockensparger, who taught at the Dayton charter school for three years before leaving for another Dayton-area teaching job last March.

Kockensparger and another former employee, Richard Storrick, accused the school of allowing sexual activity to occur during classes and other school-related functions.

According to Kockensparger, the school "failed to tell parents that their kids were suspended for having oral sex outside of the building where they were supposed to be inside attending a school-sponsored after-school cultural festival."

The sex acts reportedly were captured on surveillance video, Kockensparger said.

Horizon Science Academy is a public charter school that provides its students with an innovative education, rich in math, science and technology, according to the school's website.

The Dayton Daily News received a written statement from Concept Schools, the parent organization that manages Horizon Science Academy, after the newspaper asked for comment.

"Like any public charter school, we are accountable to the families we serve. As part of that, we prioritize ensuring a school environment that is safe, professional and one that supports students, faculty and staff," the statement read. "As we move forward, we continue to maintain the highest standards of excellence for our students, our faculty and ourselves."

Storrick, who taught math for two-plus years there, said some students participated in a sex game during a middle school math class.

"A sex game was going on while the teacher was trying to teach," Storrick said. "More than once a male student put his hand on a girl's knee and asked, 'are you nervous?' "

If the female student said no, the male student would move his hand up her thigh.

"The game was not a one-time occurrence, yet the teacher did nothing, insisting he didn't know about the game. The school's director was told about the incident, did nothing and rehired the teacher the following year," Storrick said.

The nearly hour-long testimony left some of the state school board members disturbed.

"Inside, my blood is boiling," board member Deb Cain said. "We as a state board and as a department of education, we have got to get to the bottom of this, and every single allegation needs to be investigated to the fullest."

Board President Debe Terhar told the employees who testified that the state will take the allegations seriously.

"We hear you, we will move forward to make sure that this is investigated," Terhar said.

Other former employees, including teacher Tim Neary, said the school is covering up other issues.

"School administrators clearly lied about attendance. I never had a full class and they'd say the school had a 97 percent attendance rate," Neary said. " There was no oversight at all."

Neary also said the school potentially tampered with standardized tests.

"All the tests would go into one room, with an administrator behind a locked door. Nobody else got to see what was going on," Neary told the board.

Horizon Science Academy of Dayton is one of 19 schools in Ohio affiliated with an influential U.S.-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen, and began operating under Concept Schools management in 1999.

On June 4 the FBI served a search warrant in connection to a "white-collar crime," but the bureau did not disclose any additional details about its investigation of the organization.

Power restored after large outage in Preble Co.

Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 12:46 AM
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 1:15 AM

Power restored after large outage in Preble Co.

UPDATE @ 1:15 a.m.

Power has been restored to nearly 1,700 DP&L customers in Preble County following an outage Monday morning, according to an online DP&L outage map. 

A call to DP&L has not been returned, and the cause of the outage remains unknown. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

FIRST REPORT

Nearly 1,700 Dayton Power and Light customers are reported without power in Preble County early Monday morning, according to an online outage map. 

Dispatchers for the Preble County Sheriff’s Office said they do not have any units on calls that might be related to the outage. 

A call to a DP&L spokesperson has not been immediately returned. 

We’ll update this page as new information becomes available. 

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Subject of Dayton SWAT standoff wanted for stealing weapons from Warren Co. home

Published: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 12:19 AM
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 1:30 AM

UPDATE @ 1:30 a.m. 

The Dayton police SWAT command truck, and at least one armored truck are now on scene of a standoff on Beckman Street in Dayton. 

Earlier, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office said the incident stemmed from a home burglary on Sunday where a man allegedly stole weapons. 

Our crew remains on the scene and we’ll update this page as we learn more. 

UPDATE @ 12:55 a.m. 

The suspect refusing to come out of a home on Beckman Street in Dayton is wanted for stealing weapons from a home in Warren County, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. 

Deputies said the suspect, only identified as a man, is wanted in a home burglary where he allegedly stole weapons from a home on Sunday night, but additional details on where the incident occurred in Warren County were not immediately available. 

Dayton police continue to surround the house and are demanding the man to exit, but have not officially requested SWAT to respond to the house. 

We’ll update this page as we learn more. 

FIRST REPORT

We’re following reports of police activity reported at a home on Beckman Street in Dayton. 

According to dispatch records, Dayton police were asked to assist a Warren County jurisdiction in locating someone around 11:15 p.m. Sunday. 

Our crew on the scene reports police are using a bull horn and are demanding the occupants of the home to come out. 

Dispatchers said an official request for SWAT to respond has not been made. 

We’re working to learn more about the incident, and we’ll update this page when new information becomes available. 

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2nd victim dies after fiery I-675 crash in Beavercreek

Published: Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 4:20 PM
Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 11:00 PM

UPDATE @ 11 p.m. (Feb. 19)

We just learned tonight that the passenger who was critically wounded Saturday in the fiery crash on Interstate 675 also has died.

The driver died at the scene, and the passenger passed away at Kettering Medical Center, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed.

Beavercreek police are expected to release the men’s identities and information about what led to the crash Monday morning.

UPDATE @ 8:45 p.m. (Feb. 19)

Beavercreek police have not released the identity of a man killed in a fiery crash Saturday afternoon on Interstate 675, pending notification of family who are out of town, a sergeant said tonight.

A passenger remains in critical condition at Kettering Medical Center. More information is expected to be released Monday morning.

UPDATE @ 8:10 p.m.

All lanes of northbound Interstate 675 are back open following a fiery crash. The highway was closed for about four hours near the Col. Glenn Highway exit for a single-vehicle crash.

UPDATE @ 6:15 p.m.

The Greene County Coroner’s Office is on scene of a fiery crash this evening that has shut down northbound Interstate 675 near the Col. Glenn Highway exit in Beavercreek.

Officials have not confirmed a fatality. However, our crew on scene said it appears there is a body covered by a white sheet in the median.

UPDATE @ 5:25 p.m.

All northbound traffic on Interstate 675 is being diverted onto Col. Glenn Highway after a fiery crash just past the exit.

All lanes are blocked after Beavercreek firefighters extinguished flames that erupted from a vehicle that reportedly rolled over during the crash.

The left lane on the southbound side also is blocked.

Bill Wabler of Beavercreek didn’t see the fiery crash, but moments before the crash he called 911 to report a dangerous driver.

Wabler said he was traveling north on I-675 to return home when he saw a speeding vehicle come up behind him and pass him on the right at the 15 mile marker.

“The guy was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed,” which Wabler said he estimated was at least 80 mph and possibly approaching 100 mph. Wabler said he was calling 911 to alert law enforcement about that driver, when he saw brake lights ahead and traffic slowed to a crawl. By the time he reached the 17 mile marker, he saw the same vehicle crashed in the median, he said.

EARLIER

Interstate 675 North is shut down near the Col. Glenn Highway exit after a reported single-vehicle crash.

Beavercreek police and emergency vehicle responded to the crash at approximately 4 p.m.

We’re headed to the scene to find out more.

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OSP IDs driver killed in crash near Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield Twp.

Published: Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 10:10 PM
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

UPDATE @ 11:50 p.m.

The driver of a car pronounced dead at the scene of a crash tonight was identified as 48-year-old Gary L. Preston of Springfield, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Preston was driving a 2008 Toyota Yaris south on Uppervalley Pike (U.S. 68) just before 7:30 p.m. when he did not stop for a red light and was struck on the passenger side by a 2016 Chevrolet 2500HD pickup truck headed east on U.S. 40, driven by Douglas E. Maddy, 57, of Zanesfield, the OSP’s Springfield Post reported.

Maddy was treated at the scene. His front seat passenger, 53-year-old Lynney M. Maddy and three juveniles were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, according to troopers.

The crash closed eastbound lanes of U.S. 40 for about three hours. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Springfield Twp. Fire and EMS also responded to the scene.

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FIRST REPORT

Troopers are investigating a fatal crash tonight involving two vehicles at the intersection of U.S. 40 and 68 by the Ohio Masonic Home in Springfield Twp.

A Toyota four-door sedan was headed south on U.S. 68 around 7:30 p.m. when it ran a red light.

A black pickup truck coming into Springfield on U.S. 40 T-boned the car; the impact forced the car into a railing, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

The driver of the car was killed in the crash. Three children in the pickup were taken to a local hospital with injuries believed to be minor, according to troopers.

No further information was available on the identity of the driver killed, who was the only occupant of the Toyota, nor the conditions of those in the other vehicle.