Investigations continue after the firing and arrest of two Model High School coaches, Matthew Blanton and Daniel Brown, and the termination of one paraprofessional, Jamie Taylor.
Blanton, 28, and Brown, 30, were both arrested on sexual assault charges for allegedly having inappropriate contact with students. According to Floyd County Police Sgt. Teri Davis, Taylor, 30, will not face any criminal charges.
All three were hired at Model High on July 28, 2008.
In an interview transcript between Brown and school officials, he was asked a number of questions concerning an alleged relationship between him and a 17-year-old female student. Brown said the student did spend one night at his house and he did kiss her, but that he did not fondle her and they did not have sex.
Interview transcripts between the 17-year-old female student and school officials reported she admitted having sex with Brown and spending the night with him on three or four occasions.
Mathew Blanton admitted in documents that he had kissed a 16 year old female student and had touched her, but that the two had not had sex. According to an interview with the student’s mother, Blanton had told the student that he and his wife were getting a divorce and the student had admitted to kissing Blanton and that he had "touched her bottom".
According to a memo to Blanton from Floyd County Schools Superintendent Lynn Plunkett, he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old female student, which involved sexual misconduct and other inappropriate conduct including touching, kissing and/or fondling.
Blanton said he had only been alone with the 16-year-old student once for “maybe 10 seconds,” according to transcripts of an interview between him and school officials.
Blanton told the student “he and his wife were getting a divorce” and the student “admitted kissing Coach Blanton — admitted he touched her bottom,” according to an interview with the student’s mother.
Officer Davis previously confirmed the existence of a videotape that showed Blanton having contact with the student.
A letter written by Plunkett to the Professional Standards Commission explains Taylor’s dismissal.
According to Plunkett, Taylor denied all allegations of being involved inappropriately with a 17-year-old female student.
An excerpt from this letter reads:
“However, our investigation revealed that in June or July of 2008 Mr. Taylor traveled to Atlanta with said minor student with another teacher (Daniel Brown) and another Model High School student.”
The letter says the trip was confirmed by both Brown and a female student.
Before Blanton was hired at Model High School he worked at Coosa High School as a baseball coach. While at Coosa rumors surfaced that he and a student were in an alleged inappropriate relationship, but school officials said in a memo issued on June 28, 2007, they had no proof.
A memo from Chase Kessler, human resources director for the school system, to then Superintendent Kelly Henson stated that the allegation against Blanton was “one of unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo.”
“Mr. Sprewell (Sam Sprewell, Coosa High principal) has advised Mr. Blanton of his responsibility to comply with the Professional Standards Commission, Code of Ethics,” the memo also stated.
When police began investigating the allegation at Model, they contacted the mother of the Coosa girl. Her mother told police “she did not want the police to look into it because the school already has,” according to a statement from Floyd County police investigator Steve Harkins.
ROME NEWS TRIBUNE