Teacher, track coach suspended

Gunner says allegations are being investigated; Perkins police mum.
Alissa Widman Neese
May 18, 2013

Perkins Schools officials suspended an athletic coach this week while police investigate allegations she provided prescription medication to students.

Tracey Hiss, varsity girls track coach for 25 years, received a written notice of the investigation Tuesday from district superintendent Jim Gunner. The Register obtained a copy of the letter through a public records request. 

Hiss is also a health teacher at Briar Middle School for sixth-graders and junior high students.

“I am relieving you of your duties as a teacher and a coach, with pay, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations that you have engaged in conduct unbecoming of a teacher in the Perkins Local School District by providing students with prescription medication without any authorization to do so,” Gunner stated in the letter.

Click here to read letter.

Hiss is prohibited from district property and should not discuss the matter with any students or employees, the letter stated. A substitute teacher is filling in for her at Briar Middle School.

Amy Didion, teacher and middle school boys track coach, is currently coaching the varsity girls track team, athletic director Mike Strohl said. 

When contacted Friday, Gunner said he couldn’t provide any details other than what he included in the Tuesday letter. Perkins police are currently investigating the allegations, and until the investigation is complete, Hiss is presumed innocent, he said.

Hiss did not return a phone message seeking comment.

The Register has submitted a public records request for the coach’s personnel file, as well as a request for any document detailing recent administrative actions involving her. School officials said Thursday they could not provide the personnel file until early next week.

A similar incident occurred at Perkins Schools in October, when school officials suspended wrestling coach and physical education teacher Travis Crabtree for providing a wrestler with a prescription painkiller. Strohl suspended Crabtree for three matches but did not take the incident to the superintendent or school board members.

Gunner explained at the time that it was Strohl’s responsibility, but Crabtree could appeal the matter to Gunner. The coach opted not to do so.

Late Thursday, district treasurer Lisa Crescimano emailed a news release stating board members will meet in a closed-door session at 7 a.m. Saturday to discuss employment of personnel. The meeting is at the district’s administrative service center, 3714 Campbell St.

Perkins police did not return phone messages seeking comment. 

Comments

Raoul Duke

Wait till you see those G^&%@%&@# bats.

Steph Demore

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Libel and defamation.

THED0N

Betray of trust and authority!

gbi

WOW!!!!!!! Sounds like Gunner is playing around with sexual discrimination!!! Coach/teacher TRAVIS CRABTREE was only suspended for a few wrestling meets for giving a student a prescription drug. I'd sue 'em!!!!!

underthebridge

I think so too. If what the allegations are true, it seems odd that the male coach (who by the way is well-liked by Strohl) is given a suspension of 3 matches while she is given these actions.

2cents's picture
2cents

Don't you know that sports rule in school!

senioritis

There's more than meets the eye here.

madmom

With Pay..are you kidding? Im sure everyone on here that works a normal job..not a head of a company or city official or in the schools...can definitely agree that if you screw up at work or are suspected of something, they DO NOT say go sit at home with pay until we figure it out. If you are in a head position..especially in our schools, you DESERVE to sit home with NO PAY!!!!! As our parents told us growing up.."sit and think about what you have done!"

raisingboys

I would guess that with all the Fred Fox stuff in Huron, that the school is being careful of wrongly accusing someone and suspending pay too quickly (not saying Fox is innocent at all - only saying that situation was mishandled all the way around.) Once proven guilty, then she will be terminated - and from what I heard, that is very likely to happen.

Justme...

The Huron BOE did conducted an investigation prior to terminating the superintendent. Then two board members chose to fight it with him. But they did follow the proper proceedure.

Tru Grit

You can't suspend an employee without pay if you can't immediately prove what You're accusing them of especially when they are backed by a union. Another great coach who seemed to not think the whole thing through.

indolent indiff...

now we know why their track teams win all the time.

lor70

I really don't think this should be public knowledge until she is proven guilty! There is no reason why SR should have her personnel file, nor should Perkins Schools give it to them! In this country (for now anyway) you are innocent until proven guilty. Let's not be so quick to judge this lady without knowing the truth.

BooBeeDoo'

Gunner does things "his way." He probably is going after another employee with a lot of seniority to save a buck. Why doesn't he just unload Finn (double dipper)? Meadowlawn School does fine with just one administrator! That in itself would free up $77,000 dollars a year for us Perkins taxpayers.
Why did Gunner move from his position in his hometown of Bryan, Ohio? Why would one drive over 60 miles to a job when he held the same position close to home? Don't forget what he said in the SR. Gunner said, "he had been searching for a perfect “fit” for his family, and he is eager to relocate and jump into his duties."
“It has been a long process in terms of my searching for new opportunities for myself and my family,” he said... Uh,he still has not relocated. The excuse of family health issues has grown old and stale and tends to lean in the direction of a very fat (no pun intended) lie.

donutshopguy

lor70,

Ms. Hiss is a public employee and subject to different reviews by the public. Things are a little different when public money and children are involved. The general public is entitled to her information because she works for the public. Thus, the SR is entitled to all information as a matter of public record. Any public employee understands this concept.

DGMutley

lor70,

I agree with you.

grandmasgirl

I agree. As to the charges, I see nothing about anything about her sexual activities. If she is guilty, then smear her name, not before. And if anyone thought this woman was evil, and exploited her team, then they should have reported it, not just stated their opinion here.

VOTENO

VOTE NO IN AUGUST!!!

Wald

Isn't she the same teacher who was encouraging students to leave their classrooms and join teachers on the picket line back when they were striking? I seem to remember an article in the Register about that. If true, very unprofessional, both this and that.

VOTENO

If it is, I'm glad she got caught and hope she loses her job.

eriemom

I wouldn't wish job loss on anyone. Sort of ironic that the public wants the district's employees to stand against administration, yet there are comments like these. Maybe she did.

VOTENO

If it's true she tried to get kids to skip class and picket with the teachers during the strike, then yes, I hope she gets fired. Not someone I want teaching my kids.

Slacker

Having known Hiss for a long time, trust me, you didn't want her teaching your kids even with this incident and the strike issue withstanding.

zachfromsandusky2

I'm sure if voters knew they would be paying a suspended teacher to sit at home they might not have voted to pass that levy.

Starr

As far as we know, she could have given someone a motrin. Big deal! These aren't little kids she's dealing with. She would never do anything to harm any of her students! I guess after twenty-five years of dedication to them, you can't see this? This is getting blown out of proportion, I'm sure! Figures...

*

Mum-of-One

I dont believe you need a prescription for motrin.

Kelly

Actually, there is prescription strength Motrin.

Ithink

Motin 800mg is RX only. If you buy generic ibuprofen OTC and take 4, it equals the RX strength.

donutshopguy

Starr,

You have no problem with a teacher handing out prescription drugs to student ?

God save us.

DGMutley

I didn't think that any kind of medications were allowed to be given without parental persmission.

grandmasgirl

This is really off topic, but it just popped into my mind. No you can't give prescription drugs to kids, but they can buy the morning after pill without a parent's permission.

Nemesis

But that's a SEX drug. That's different. Nothing can stand in the way of that.

DGMutley

grandmasgirl, I didn't think that you could even give out aspirin.

Slacker

Be very careful throwing your support behind her on this one. Her teaching and coaching days are over.

deertracker

I know Traci. She is a really nice person. I can't speak to the allegations against her but I don't believe she would do anything with malicious intent. Her record speaks for itself.

observer

Good person. Good coach. Has been for 25 years! Lots of ????? about this whole thing.

Slacker

Wrong, wrong, and wrong. No questions at all. She will be fired and will never teach or coach again.

fifteenthgreen

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DickTracey

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WhyRweHere

Is there a more dysfunctional organization than the Perkins School system right now??? What a joke!!

The New World Czar

This why there are school nurses and athletic trainers...to help prevent incidents like this from occurring.

ladydye_5

Athletic trainers have NO authority to give prescriptions either. They are NOT doctors. I personally have seen a few "trainers" that seem to be no smarter than myself, a stay at home mom.

fifteenthgreen

Too much information for you to digest, SR? Wouldn't want the truth!

Matt Easterhold

Let's add all this up now, in the last few years Perkins Schools have had a teacher strike, teacher falling asleep on the job, a teacher having a relationship with a student, and now 2 coach/teachers have given prescription medicine to students.

I plan on VOTING NO again in August, and I will continue to vote no until Gunner is gone and all school board is replaced. This system is a joke.

Steph Demore

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deertracker

Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who knew? I didn't!!

harshreality

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VOTENO

Man! Where were teachers like this when I was in school!

Hoss McGee

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Katelih-Trailer...

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reporter54

They do not pay teachers or coaches enough money to be subjected to so much scrutiny and negativity. Being under a microscope and thought to be a bacteria to be eradicated. One day there will be no people left to teach because of this.

Unassumer

add to that the fact that they have to be armed and trained to fend off shooters. protect my baby but don't give her an aspirin or you're fired!

Steph Demore

little disturbing to use such an awful attack on children as an excuse for teachers to abuse their positions of authority.

harshreality

Do you really want just anyone deeming what perscription medications are appropriate for your child? Let us not forget that it is against the law to pass out perscription medications. Was it a perscription grade motrin? If that is ok, why not vicodin, oxicodone, adderall? Where is the line to be drawn?

sandusky2012

wow what a hottie teacher

Steph Demore

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Steph Demore

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Steph Demore

Thank God for unions.

lifetimeresident

Very nice and dedicated young lady. 25 years of coaching. That takes alot of dedication. Dont know the facts about the meds. If she made a mistake as people do I hope it is dealt with fairly. Remember, 25 years. I hope loyality means something to this district. I do not believe for one minute this lady would purposely with intent try to harm any of her team with any dangerous meds. Best of luck to this young lady.

Steph Demore

25 years of abusing her authority.

Steph Demore

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Love614

Wow! "Steph Demore" you have quite the vendetta by the hateful things you post... Sure are trying hard to convince everyone that she did something wrong. Hmmmm.

Steph Demore

I hate all predators of children.

Steph Demore

The truth can be ugly. Don't hate the messenger.

44870 South

Steph Demore, I have to be honest I've heard some questionable stuff about Hiss over the years...I would agree with the abuse of authority thing, among other things, which are quite disturbing. She has no business being a teacher or a coach. That's my personal opinion.

caddylackity

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Slacker

Agreed. This was just a matter of time. Terrible teacher, terrible coach, terrible person. Perkins Schools get much stronger the day she is fired for all of this.

Steph Demore

Appreciate the support. Its is not always easy standing up for what is right. However, when it comes to children I refuse to have a filter. Our community is tainted enough with murder and crime. Lets try to preserve the little innocense there is left out there.

Nemesis

How about the presumption of innocence until proven guilty that is the inalienable right of every last one of us?

You seem awfully sure of yourself for someone who hasn't offered a single fact about the case.

caddylackity

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caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

harshreality

I believe that Tracey's family name is Demore. I wonder if steph demore is related? If so, I think her comments may have more weight. I would be interested in seeing her personnel file.

Steph Demore

Yes unfortunatly I am related to a monster. And to tell you the truth I am broken hearted over the choices Tracy has made. And they have affected me and my family greatly. I choose to have a voice today for those have been robbed of theirs. You cannot chose your family. But you can chose to be different from them.

Nemesis

If you know something the rest of us don't, make your case. Your naked assertions of monster-hood are meaningless without a factual basis.

VOTENO

Please vote no in August!

Steph Demore

I have no hate in my heart for Tracy. I have compassion for all people. I pray that Tracy the same way i pray for her victims. My life is certaintly not without faults. But I don't have to wash the blood of innocence off my hands before I go to bed at night.

caddylackity

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Steph Demore

This is a fact.

harshreality

I imagine more people will step forward now that she is presumablly fired. I hope the school is involved in a cover up.

caddylackity

The school has been hiding this for years, have reported incidents personally and the principle said we will look into it and never heard a word back or about it again.

VOTENO

Didn't they let a male coach off easy? Why the big fuss now?

caddylackity

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Steph Demore

This is a fact. Called the principle personally. I got the brush off.

harshreality

Isn't* involved

Steph Demore

Unfortunatly I personally believe this has been swept under the rug for a very, very long time.

underthebridge

Steph - I'm going to make a guess that she exploited you or someone you care about. There is recourse available through both the legal system and the Ohio Department of Education. File a police report and contact the ODE. It isn't easy, but it is an available option.

Steph Demore

Thank you for your support and advice.

underthebridge

Office of Educator Conduct
Educator.Conduct@ode.state.oh.us
Phone: (614) 466-5638
Toll-free: (877) 644-6338

VOTENO

Our District is a joke from the top down. Vote no!

caddylackity

Hope this encourages people to come forward.

ridiculousness

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ridiculousness

and telling people not to vote doesn't help. don't you people see that all that does is hurt the kids. no i don't agree with everything the board does but we have lost some good teachers already. if you say you care about the community of perkins and you care about the kids then VOTE YES and become more involved instead of sitting back and complaining.

VOTENO

VOTE NO IN AUGUST!

ok haters

The ridiculousness of the statements, meanderings, and just plain ignorant comments being made about track coach/teacher Tracey Hiss are just unfounded and maligning in their context and overwhelming biased by a few who are going out of their way to make it sound as if many are against when it is only a mean spirited few, as a community you should rally around this fantastic person who you are LUCKY enough to have mentor your children, both in their educational endeavors and in extracurricular activities, shame on you few. It sounds as though there is a family confliction that one person has designed more than one account. My suggestion is to keep your family matters private.

ridiculousness

im not related in anyway but this has directly affecte one of my family memebers so i think i may know a few more details then most

caddylackity

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caddylackity

A few? Read through the 90 something comments and youll find way more than a few.

eriemom

~90 comments, many comments made by 3 people. Yes, a few.

Steph Demore

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FullGlory

As a Health teacher she always spoke of eating a lot something that had zero calories. Hopefully she will be reinstated so we can get that figured out.

Tru Grit

Steph demore, hating on your own blood that takes guts. Still wouldn't come on this site making you Tracy and anyone else with "demore" as a last name look like a attention seeking moron who slanders their own kind. Say what you want but you should feel like a real idiot. Now days your blood line is just about the only thing you got.

If allegations are true fire her get some criminal charges filed and be done with it.

On a lighter note the Perkins boys won the SBC title again for 30th time in 36 years making it run from 2006-2013. Nice job boys the season has only started now. That burrows is a class act.

caddylackity

Truth hurts doesnt it, not related but know of the family through my children.

ok haters

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caddylackity

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

stayfit

Tracey is a warm, charismatic person who has dedicated her time to molding young men and women into adults. In middle school, she was my health teacher and always encouraged myself and others. Regardless of the outcome of this predicament, she has been a positive influence my life to this day and in the lives of many. I will stay mum on the predicament, as only those directly involved know the circumstances. However, in regards to her ability to lead, motivate, and educate - Perkins Local Schools have been blessed to have this remarkable individual. Whatever comes from the investigation, guilty or innocent, at worst she is a good person that made a poor choice. Prior to this I have only the best to say about Tracey Hiss.

stayfit

If there is anything that will tarnish the remarkable reputation of Tracey, let the reporters do their job and provide the facts to you. Jumping to conclusions and developing correlations with the little information that is known at this time is something that adults should be above.
The facts I do know: A Hall of Fame coach, a devoted teacher, and an individual that went the extra mile for her community for 25 years.

ridiculousness

it wouldn't be ugly if she would just admitt her fault and stop lying about the girls she affected

caddylackity

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Steph Demore

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Steph Demore

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lifetimeresident

Well said stayfit
The steph Demore that has been slandering her on this site is a niece? Nice! Who's kid are you. The DeMores were always a close nit family. And dont who dare every bring up Mrs. DeMore passing and the family then parted ways. Thats ..... That woman and her Husband did more charitable invents with Fish Fries for the school system then anybody ever will. You should be ashamed or yourself. If Gypsie was still alive he would .....you. If she did wrong with Meds, then let the board decide her fair fate. Dont slander a good coach for personal reasons. Shame on you steph.

caddylackity

WERE always a close nit family, exactly stayfit! Diane passing brought out the worse in mr demore and his kids, she was the glue and heart of that family she would be devastated to see who her husband and kids are now. She was a friend of mine and I miss her dearly. Shame on you stayfit for defending this monster.

Steph Demore

Caddylackity....thank you for standing up for the truth.

stayfit

"Shame on me..." - Caddylackity, you are assuming that Coach Hiss is guilty. Details have not yet emerged. I am a responsible person that will allow the investigation to take place. What Coach Hiss has done for others in the time I have known her has been great. There are two sides to every story.

caddylackity

Yes the truth and the false statements you make.

VOTENO

Vote NO in August and every levy after that!

deertracker

I graduated from PHS years ago and student/teacher sexual relationships did occur back then. I am talking about the 70's and most people knew about it. It was also usually involving some type of sport.

Ithink

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AEversole

I cant imagine that she would put any child in harms way intentionally. I am giving her the benifit of the doubt, and for any athletic coach to give a underage athlete a prescription pain killer ( narcotic) he or she should be fired and charged.

bushwacker

wow. she's hott! is she married?

Steph Demore

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

Swiftshot

It doesn't take a sport for sex with students to occur. Don't stereotype because it might be the shop teacher or the math teacher. They all could be the offender of any abuse of authority deertracker .

mrite

Yet you only need to be 15 to get the morning after pill!

SanduskyCountyR...

While I agree that teachers work for the public, I also feel that people are innocent until proven guilty. Of course, when people can hide behind a screen and not provide any kind of proof of any misdoings, its very wrong.

Why should Perkins Schools, Sandusky County Officials, or Huron or anyone for that matter cooperate with the newspaper when all it seems newspapers try to run a campaign to prosecute people in the paper? I do realize that by law they have provide "records" but why not let an investigation take its course first?

VOTENO

VOTE NO IN AUGUST!

I'm Done

It doesn't what kind of teacher, parent or person she is, giving prescription painkillers to students is against the law. A teacher of 25 years should know that and abide by the law. My understanding is this is her second offense. If that is true, then there is no excuse for her behavior especially after another coach was found in a similar circumstance earlier in the year. It doesn't matter what it is, the law is the law. Depending what type of prescription it is found to be, the school and coach would be hearing from my lawyer.

caddylackity

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Swiftshot

Everyone is so quick to call the lawyer? But I guess that conversation is a little off topic and I could ramble on it forever. Yea keep the lawyers busy lol. It looks like it is being taken care of internally. Leave the lawyers out of it.

I'm Done

Like I said, depending on the prescription.

KURTje

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BASHERS

A lot of you should be ashamed of yourself. You are bashing a person that cannot speak on her own behalf. You don't have to like someone but grow up and learn the place and time to comment.

Ms Hiss was suspended with pay because the concern that was raised has not been proven. No one has said she actually gave anything to anyone, prescription or not. They said they are investigating the possibility. And as you can see, all of you and the News Paper are allowed to say whatever you want to whomever you want. Yet, as the letter stated Ms Hiss is not allowed to comment or speak to anyone until the investigation is over. There is completely a double standard here on more than one point!!!

caddylackity

Cry me a river, she is as guilty as jerry Sandusky!

SanduskyCountyR...

I guess due process is not allowed? I guess if she is not guilty, her reputation is still tarnished.

SanduskyCountyR...

And if she is removed, appropriate actions should be set forth.

caddylackity

.

SanduskyCountyR...

Keep feeding the trolls.

donutshopguy

The school is not commenting and ask Ms. Hiss not to comment. There is no double standard.

The public is not held to those exact standards you wish to control.

Nemesis

And that word "asked" is critical. She retains her First Amendment rights, and if she wanted to, she could be here posting right now. If she's represented by counsel (and presumably, the union will see to it that she is) the first thing any good attorney tells their client is to keep their mouth shut.

eriemom

Actually Dr. Gunner's letter used the words "permitted" and "instructed".

VOTENO

VOTE NO IN AUGUST!

The New World Czar

I hear the superintendent position is opening up in Oregon schools (existing superintendent is headed toward North Olmsted). What are the odds Gunner will apply?

I'm Done

One could only hope but with the mess here would anyone hire him?

underthebridge

No one is happy about what is happening in Perkins except Fred Fox in Huron. Perkins = Dysfunctional mess.

Edwin Ison

For the folks on the side of the coach handing out prescriptions, consider this.
A student athlete has an injury that is painful but not yet serious. The coach hands out a prescription pain patch to mask the pain symptoms. The student athlete is then told to race as hard as she can. An expected outcome could be that the student athlete would be able to push her body beyond the pain threshold due to the injury pain being masked by prescription painkillers, thereby causing serious injury. There are injuries that occur that can have lifelong consequences.

The leading sports physicians use a "train/race TO pain" philosophy. Once the pain threshold is reached, the athlete is to STOP to reduce further injury and allow healing to occur.

Coaches should NEVER hand out painkillers, this is the responsibility of the parents and the child's physician.

It seems that there has been a "win at all costs" atmosphere fostered at Perkins.... and it is systemic. The coaches with that mission should be weeded out.

High School sports programs should be about more than finishing results and winning at all costs.