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Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 11:25 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 @ 11:00 PM
SPRINGBORO — UPDATE @ 11 p.m.
A Springboro physical education teacher involved in a police investigation for possible misconduct has resigned from two positions in as many days.
John Austin Hopkins submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday to the district, and on Monday, he resigned from his assistant swim team coach position at the Coffman Family YMCA, Dale Brunner, president/CEO of the Greater Dayton YMCA stated in an email Tuesday night.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Brunner asked that Springboro police be contacted for further information.
A Springboro physical education teacher involved in a police investigation for possible misconduct involving a student submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday to the district.
John Austin Hopkins told the district “for personal and professional reasons I am hereby resigning from all contracts I am engaged in with Springboro Community City Schools, effective immediately.”
Hopkins was placed on administrative leave March 8.
The district first learned of allegations of inappropriate conduct with a student when a parent reported concerns to the principal at Clearcreek Elementary School.
“It was immediately looked into from there,” said Scott Marshall, district communications coordinator. “This all goes into if you see something, you hear something, say something and tell us.”
The district has handed the investigation over to Springboro police. No charges have been filed against Hopkins.
“Detectives are working closely with the Springboro school district as they investigate the situation,” read a press release from police. “Due to this matter being an ongoing investigation, there is no other information that can be released at this time.”
Police and Marshall did not release the nature of the allegations. However, attorney Angela Wallace of the Blessing Law Firm in Cincinnati, who said she is representing the family of an accuser tied to the Springboro police investigation of Hopkins, said Tuesday that it would be fair “to characterize this as allegations of sexual misconduct.”
Marshall said that parents of any Springboro students directly involved in the allegation were contacted. “If they’re not contacted, they’re not immediately involved right now,” he said.
Parents concerned that their child may be involved should contact the district or police.
Hopkins was hired in August 2018 and taught physical education for first and sixth grades at Clearcreek Elementary and Springboro Intermediate schools. He’s worked for the district on and off since 2016 as a substitute and custodian. According to his personnel file, Hopkins never faced discipline.
The district’s school board is having a special meeting Wednesday to accept his resignation.
Springboro Community Schools parents called the possibility of misconduct, especially involving a student, concerning on Tuesday, but said they felt the district is handling the incident well.
“I think as a parent, or as any community member, it’s very discouraging, disheartening any time you have allegations that are involving our children,” said Lynn York.
“I truly do have confidence in the school that they will seek out the pertinent information going forward,” said Tara Thomas.
York, who has twins at Five Points Elementary and a sixth-grader at Springboro Intermediate, added that it is natural for people to wonder what sparked the allegation.
“I’m sure there’s a lot of conversation, but again, it’s allegations and I think everybody has the opportunity to defend themselves,” she said.