MOUNT VERNON — A former Mount Vernon elementary teacher lost his teaching license Tuesday to the Ohio Department of Education after allegations he was engaged in inappropriate communications with a student.
James M. Thayer, who resigned from his teaching post at Pleasant Street Elementary School in April, applied to voluntarily surrender his five-year professional license and three-year pupil activity supervision permit on May 5.
According to a document acquired by the News through a public records request, Thayer was placed on paid administrative leave effective March 27. His resignation, which stated he was leaving for personal reasons, was effective April 12.
According to Steve Short, Mount Vernon superintendent, Thayer was placed on leave after a complaint was received by the district. Short would not comment on the specifics of the complaint, but did say it did not involve any student in Thayer’s classroom, nor did it involve a student within the Mount Vernon school system.
Short said the district followed the proper procedure to forward the complaint to law enforcement or children’s services, although he would not confirm to which office the complaint was given.
Fredericktown Superintendent James Peterson told the News he alerted Thayer he was not permitted to interact with district students while Knox County Children’s and Family Services was conducting an investigation involving the teacher. Thayer was a volunteer with the Fredericktown High School band.
In a document through which Thayer offered to surrender his license, he waived his rights to counsel and a hearing. A 16-person board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve Thayer’s request and revoke his license and permit. The board vote means Thayer cannot reapply for a teaching license in the state of Ohio.
Calls to Children’s and Family Services seeking additional information were not returned.