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Union City teacher's aide terminated over 'inappropriate conversation' with student

A school board meeting is scheduled for Thursday to decide whether Rachelle Cline, a paraprofessional and Junior High Cheerleading coach, will be fired.
A teacher’s aide at Union City Jr/Sr High School has been placed on administrative leave and recommended for termination amid allegations she exchanged in an “inappropriate conversation” with a student.
Posted at 11:10 AM, Aug 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-18 11:39:39-04

RANDOLPH COUNTY— The Randolph Eastern school board terminated a teacher’s aide Thursday evening with a 5-0 vote.

Rachelle Cline was placed on administrative leave on August 12 amid allegations she engaged in an “inappropriate conversation” with a student.

Cline worked as a paraprofessional and junior high cheerleading coach, according to the district.

Katie Quinn, mother of a 15-year-old student, contacted the school and Union City police after she said Cline sent Snapchat messages to her son about a game involving which student could hug her better.

Quinn said Cline was also her daughter’s cheerleading coach.

“I truly believe it was Rachelle's intention to form a bond or some kind of trust with my son, considering she's asking him to visit her frequently so she can hug him,” said Quinn. “Thinking about how far this could've gone makes me sick and I am so grateful it was brought to my attention so fast.”

Mark Ater, director of public safety for Union City, said the police department investigated the allegations.

“After a thorough investigation, which included interviews with multiple parties involved, as well as a careful examination of relevant evidence, the Union City Police Department has determined that no criminal offense has occurred in this case,” the Union City Police Department said in a statement issued to WRTV. “While the messages and the circumstances surrounding the investigation were found to be inappropriate, they did not amount to a criminal violation under existing laws.”

WRTV Investigates has called and emailed Cline, and we are still waiting to hear back.

"We take all allegations seriously and prioritize the safety of our community, especially our juveniles," said Director Mark Ater. "Our investigation into this matter was thorough and impartial, and we appreciate the transparency and cooperation we received from the Randolph Eastern Schools throughout this process."

Quinn tells WRTV she is disappointed no criminal charges will be filed.

The Randolph Eastern School Corporation superintendent released the following statement to WRTV.

“In a steadfast commitment to maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment, Randolph Eastern is taking immediate action to address an inappropriate conversation that transpired between a staff member and a student.

The incident, which goes against the values and standards of our institution, is being met with transparency, thorough investigation, and corrective measures.

The well-being and safety of our students is and will always remain the most important area of concern at Randolph Eastern. We want to assure the entire school community, including students, parents, guardians, and staff that we are taking this matter very seriously. Randolph Eastern's administration is dedicated to upholding the highest standards of integrity, safety, and professionalism.

We will take all necessary steps to ensure that our students continue to learn and thrive in an environment that promotes their well-being and success.

We appreciate the trust that parents, guardians, students, and the community place in our schools.”