Teacher Toe-Licking Video Sparks School Controversy
Parents Say Teacher Engaged In Inappropriate Conduct
8:38 AM, Nov 25, 2009
A battle is brewing between some parents and the Mooresville Consolidated School Corp. over a teacher some feel is involved too intimately with children.A 41-second cell phone video shows a junior varsity softball player licking the toes of teacher Jody Monaghan, a former softball coach, 6News' Jack Rinehart reported."There were 14-year-olds on that bus. I know several of them. I've known them since they were little girls," said parent Lenny Adair. "It's inappropriate at best."But that wasn't the only incident parents consider inappropriate.Superintendent Curt Freeman was aware of another incident in which Monaghan sent inappropriate text messages to some students.In both cases, Freeman said Monaghan used poor judgment, but Monaghan now coaches the girl's swim team.Parents said Monaghan has been engaging in inappropriate contact with children for years.Sheila Reecer's daughter said some of the behavior she had witnessed between Monaghan and her teammates happened to her, too."She came home and she was real upset and she goes, 'Mom, I need to talk to you about something that happened during softball,'" Reecer said. "She said she had walked past him in the dugout a couple of times, he would just rub his hand across her stomach."Rob Allen said incidents reached beyond the softball field and that Monaghan disciplined his daughter in a classroom in front of her classmates."He bent her over his lap and spanked her, and I didn't find this out until later on down the road," Allen said.Sheila Helton said she pulled her 15-year-old daughter off the softball team after Monaghan began sending her text messages she felt were inappropriate."She came to me one day and said, 'Mom, I think my coach is weird,'" Helton said. "11:30, 12 o'clock at night, some of the messages were, 'What are you doing? I'm bored.'"Adair said that Monaghan began texting his daughter before he put a stop to it."I don't allow no man I'm a grown man. I don't text kids," he said. "What do you text a kid for when you're a grown man?"Helton said contact with her daughter went beyond texting and got uncomfortably physical after Monaghan allegedly told her daughter that she didn't need her knee wrapped, but rubbed."She said he looked at her and said, 'How does it make you feel when I rub your leg?'" Helton said. "She said, 'That freaked me out, mom.'"The school corporation refused to respond to 6News' inquiries about Monaghan."Please tell me you're not recording me right now," said Susan Haynes, the school's community relations coordinator, when asked if Freeman would comment.Freeman backed out of a scheduled interview and issued a statement that said, in part, that students were interviewed and didn't feel threatened and that no laws were broken."If they're not going to do anything about this, I'm not going to have my daughter trapped in a dugout somewhere with this man," Reecer said."You're messing with my baby but me getting in trouble wasn't going to do her any good," Allen said.While Monaghan no longer coaches softball, his new position as swim coach gives some parents pause."So they go from softball uniforms to girls in bathing suits. Go figure that, and I don't like it," Adair said.Freeman and Monaghan refused repeated requests to be interviewed for this story.