Sexual Conduct Problem At Metro School? Court Records Outline A Pattern

Tuesday, March 24th 2015, 10:34 pm
By: News 9

Over the past few years, there has been a pattern of inappropriate conduct with Western Heights' teachers.

At least five former coaches and teachers have been charged, some sentenced, for sexual contact with students. The latest happened on Monday.

The question: Are all these cases just coincidental, or is there a problem at Western Heights Public Schools?

Monday, former wrestling coach and substitute teacher Eric Ramirez was charged with Second Degree Rape after a student's mother went to police.

3/23/2015 Related Story: Former Western Heights Teacher Charged With Rape Involving A Student

“I didn't think it was true,” said a Western Heights High School teacher. “He's a good guy.” 

A former Western Heights High School coach was on trial for rape, accused of having sex multiple times with a 16-year-old student back in 2011.

“He's always there for all the students. He's very active with them,” said the teacher. “It was hard to believe.”

“Doesn't matter what I say, I'm guilty until proven innocent,” said Tyrone Nash before his conviction.

Tyrone Nash was found guilty.

In 2009, former Western Heights softball coach Michael Hestand was fired after pornography was found on his school computer.

Not long after, a hidden camera was discovered. Hestand pleaded guilty to taking pictures and recording girls while they changed in the locker room.

“What we're trying to do is close the loophole and make sure that this doesn't happen to any kid whatsoever,” said Sen. Kyle Loveless.

Senator Kyle Loveless has a bill making its way through right now that would require districts across the state to report these incidents to the Department of Education.

He said there may be more cases like it, but because school districts are not required to report them, there's no paper trail.

“Western Heights, there may be a systematic problem in that school district,” said Loveless. “And I think it's something that if we don't have a way in making sure that they report it to the Department of Education, then we'll never know what the problem is.”

Senator Loveless said his bill will also help districts make sure they're hiring the right people.

News 9 reached out to the Western Heights Superintendent. We were told to consult with the districts legal counsel.