RTHS board fires teacher over allegations

RTHS board fires teacher over allegations

RANTOUL — The Rantoul Township High School board voted Monday night to dismiss music teacher and band director Bryan Reynolds, following recent allegations, by a former student, of inappropriate sexual conduct.

Later Monday, Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz told The News-Gazette she has filed two felony charges of distributing explicit materials to a minor against Reynolds.
 
More than 100 people gathered in the school cafetorium, some holding up signs in support of Reynolds, to hear the outcome of the specially called meeting. Sixteen people — including students, parents and grandparents — came forward to speak on his behalf, and a chant of "Reynolds-Reynolds-Reynolds" began as the board moved to closed session to determine the 26-year-old teacher's fate.

In a prepared statement following the nearly 90-minute meeting, RTHS Superintendent Scott Amerio said: "The board of education took action at (Monday's) meeting to dismiss Mr. Reynolds from his position of employment with the district for the reasons and causes put forth in the resolution and charges for dismissal. Mr. Reynolds' employment with the district has ceased effective immediately."

In a one-page typed letter obtained by the Rantoul Press, dated Monday and addressed to Reynolds' Savoy residence, the board laid out its charges:

— "Inappropriate/Unprofessional Conduct/Conduct Unbecoming of an Educator. From on or about November 15, 2012 to on or about January 29, 2013, you sent text messages to a district student that include explicit sexual conduct and nude images of you and other individuals."

— "Unprofessional Conduct: During a District investigation into allegations that you sent inappropriate text messages and/or images to a District student, you provided false information to the District. Specifically, on November 29, 2013, when asked about the messages/images, you denied that you had sent them to the student."

The letter was signed by board president Kelly Foster.

Reynolds had served as music teacher and band director at RTHS for the past four years until being suspended on Nov. 29.

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