By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Teacher/coach resigns
Allegations of impropriety spur investigation; not charges
Thomas Desbeins - photo by Courier file photo
Liberty County High School teacher and assistant football coach Thomas Desbiens resigned Monday while meeting with school administrators regarding an investigation alleging he was involved with a female student.
“What started this investigation occurred on campus,” Liberty County Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said, “which was basically violating our policy of keeping a student in the classroom when that student should have been in class somewhere else. It was poor judgment, but certainly nothing criminal. As the investigation unfolded other things came to light that violate his code of ethics, but do not necessarily involve criminal charges at this time.”
The investigation reportedly started Jan. 30 when Desbiens was asked to leave the campus. He was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Contrary to rumors, the student is not a minor and has not been expelled from school, Scherer said.
“The student was not disciplined, because it was not a violation of student behavior since it did not occur on the campus,” she said. “However it is a violation of the code of ethics…there are certain things that teachers cannot do, even though they may not be illegal, they are not
to engage in those types of relationships with students.”
Scherer said officials reported the findings of their investigation to local law enforcement and to the state Professional Standards Commission, saying it is now up to the commission to decide what action, if any, it plans.
She said the range of disciplinary actions the commission runs from a warning, to suspension, to revoking his teaching certificate.
Scherer said charges against Desbiens are not pending.
“It is not a criminal matter at this time,” she said. “I guess down the road it possibly could be, although we have talked to law enforcement and they have no charges pending as a result of the information we shared with them at this time.”
The Courier tried to call Desbiens, but his home number was not listed and his cell phone number was not available.
There was no word yet on how his positions will be filled.
Sign up for our e-newsletters