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Two HS administrators fired amid concerns they failed to report misconduct

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Posted at 6:11 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 23:55:54-04

HENDRICKS COUNTY— The North West Hendricks school board voted Wednesday night to terminate two high school administrators, Nathan and Stacey Begle, amid allegations the couple failed to report allegations of sexual misconduct involving a teacher and student in 2019.

The board voted 4-0. Board Vice President Brad Williams was not present at the meeting.

The Begles have been on administrative leave since February 2020 following a formal complaint filed by the Indiana Department of Education against their teaching licenses.

The district and its attorneys have not yet responded to WRTV Investigates’ request for how much compensation the Begles received during their paid administrative leave from February to September 2020.

Stacey Begle, dean of students at Tri-West High School, and Nathan Begle, athletic director at Tri-West High School, who are married, are both charged with failure to make a report, a misdemeanor.

They are due in court on October 13 for a bench trial.

According to court documents, the district received multiple tips in February 2019 about teacher and coach Tyler Bruce working out alone with a female student with the door locked.

The tips also alleged an inappropriate, sexual relationship between Bruce and the student, who was 16-years-old at the time.

Prosecutors say, Stacey, Nathan, and Adam Benner, the principal at the time, had a meeting in which Benner told the Begles to bring any further information directly to him.

Benner said he and Nathan spoke with Bruce about no longer working out with the alleged victim, however, no one reported the allegations to the Indiana Department of Child Services or law enforcement at the time.

On May 3, 2019, attendance secretary David Pyatt saw the alleged victim and Bruce in his office with the lights off and later reported it to DCS.

PREVIOUS | Former Tri-West employee shares why he reported teacher’s alleged sexual misconduct

Following Pyatt’s report, the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office started investigating.

When an HCSO deputy spoke to Stacey in May, Stacey told the deputy they already heard about the allegations involving Bruce and it “had already been investigated and was determined to be without merit,” court records show.

Stacey continued to bring information to Benner.

David Pyatt urged Stacey to call DCS saying she was required to report it, and Stacey said she did not consider the deputy’s or Pyatt’s observations to be “new information,” records show.

On Nov. 4, 2019, a search warrant was granted for Bruce’s school email account and personnel record.

Court documents show there was no indication of Stacey or Nathan making any contact with Bruce in any way regarding the tips and concerned received in February 2019.

On Feb. 28, the school district announced the Begles were placed on paid administrative leave following a complaint filed by the Indiana Department of Education.

This is not the first time the Begles have been on paid administrative leave.

The Begles were also placed on paid administrative leave in July 2019 in connection with the Tyler Bruce matter.

The former superintendent, Mike Springer, tried to fire the Begles, but the board allowed them to return to their positions in September 2019.

PREVIOUS | School board decides Tri-West employees can return to school

In September 2019, the school board voted the Begles could return to their positions where they remained until February 2020 when the IDOE filed its formal complaint against the couple’s teaching license.

The Begles received $29,858.37 while they were on administrative leave from July to September 2019, according to the district.

The IDOE complaints against their teaching licenses are still pending.

The Begles released a statement to WRTV last month through their attorney Chris Taylor, calling the criminal charges “unfounded.”

"Mr. and Mrs. Begle never had reason to believe that any student at Tri-West High School was the victim of child abuse or neglect prior to when the police began their investigation and charges were filed against Mr. Bruce,” read the statement.

Bruce has denied the allegations through his attorney.

PREVIOUS | Mother says Hendricks Co school failed to protect teen daughter from teacher and coach

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