Former C.P. teacher fired from Florida school district

2013-04-23T19:30:00Z 2013-04-24T14:51:03Z Former C.P. teacher fired from Florida school districtBy Marisa Kwiatkowski, (219) 662-5333

A former Crown Point teacher has been terminated from his position in a Florida school district after an investigation relating to his conduct in another state.

Brett Crutchfield, a former teacher and softball coach, resigned from Crown Point High School last May amid allegations he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with one of his underage female students. He was investigated by Crown Point police, but no criminal charges were filed.

Crutchfield moved to Florida and was hired as a science teacher and head baseball coach for DeSoto County High School in Arcadia, Fla., school records show. It is unclear whether he disclosed the circumstances surrounding his exit from the Crown Point school system.

Crutchfield was placed on administrative leave with pay from the Florida school in January pending the outcome of an investigation into "an incident which occurred in another state," according to DeSoto school board minutes.

The district later terminated Crutchfield "without cause," which was allowed because it was during his probationary period, according to an article in the Arcadian newspaper.

DeSoto Superintendent Karyn Gray could not be reached Tuesday for comment regarding Crutchfield's Florida dismissal.

Crutchfield could not be reached Tuesday for comment. His attorney, Jack Kramer, said he could not comment because of pending litigation.

A former student is suing Crutchfield and Crown Point Community School Corp. in Hammond federal court, claiming Crutchfield sexually harassed her and flirted with her during classes at school, court records state. The girl was not named in the federal lawsuit because she was a minor at the time the alleged misconduct is said to have occurred.

The lawsuit accuses Crutchfield and the school district of gross negligence, child seduction, battery, assault, false imprisonment and negligent hiring, training and supervision.

Crutchfield filed an answer to the lawsuit that denied the allegations.

Neither Crown Point School Superintendent Teresa Eineman nor Cheryl Zic, the attorney representing Crown Point Community School Corp. in the federal lawsuit, could be reached Tuesday for comment.

That lawsuit is pending in U.S. District Court in Hammond.

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