A high school teacher and coach at Tennessee's Warren County High School was accused by four 9th grade girls of inappropriate touching with no consequences. This in addition to "multiple students who have been removed from teams coached," according to a parent of one of the young girls. The parent of one of the victims also had this to say: "The parents protected their children and the school system has had multiple complaints and not one thing has been done."
The high school teacher and coach is on the ballot for Warren County Commissioner as well, but apart from our previous article in which no names were mentioned, there has been absolute radio silence in the local, state and national news media.
The cases were reported in October 2017 and February of this year. The four girls who complained of inappropriate touching and being made to feel uncomfortable were interviewed separately but had similar complaints. What's more, since there was no warning given ahead of time before the investigation, the girls would have had no time to collaborate on a fake story. Also, according to the DA's letter "none of the complaining girls had any serious disciplinary issues or a known motive for making any false allegations."
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The District Attorney involved was from neighboring Coffee County and was called in purportedly due to a "conflict of interest." Craig Northcott, by the way, is the same DA who extended the trial date for a Coffee County coach who is still free three years after being charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse and misconduct with multiple teenage girls. The police report notes that "at different times" the teacher "would place his hands on their thigh, hips or waist" in a way that made them feel uncomfortable. The DA finally ruled that there was nothing illegal in the actions of an authority figure touching girls in the hip and thigh areas near the groin and buttocks in a way that made them feel uncomfortable though he admitted he had no reason not to believe the girls.
We reached out to George Smartt several times going as far as to tag his Facebook wall requesting that he check his messages, but apparently the teacher in question did not at that time have any interest in sharing his side of the story.
We learned more from one of the parents of the victims: "Northcott stated he didn’t investigate and he had no idea where the teacher had placed his hand. And he saw no criminal charges to be made. I’m not a rocket scientist but a young ladies uppermost thigh is the groin area. The hand in question on the thigh was as high as it could be reached and the hand in question was also placed on the inner thigh. Because my 14-year-old was not aware of proper anatomy and how to describe the placement of the hand on her upper thigh and inner."
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From the DA's letter:
"Because the violations do not violate criminal law, there is no reason for further investigation from a criminal standpoint. Thus I will be closing the investigation and will not be pursuing any criminal charges. As to whether George Smartt violated any school policies or whether the school needs to take any actions against him, I have no authority or jurisdiction in that realm and will leave it to the Warren County School Administration to make that decision."
So despite multiple girls reporting and no authorities doubting their stories, the principal contacting the police, there has been absolutely no action. No disciplinary action by the school, no civil or criminal cases lodged and (apart from the previous article in the Goldwater on this subject and this one) a complete media blackout.
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We can only hope that now that this story has been broken, other local, regional and state news outlets may continue to investigate exactly what went wrong here and why nothing has been done about it to this day. Regardless of whether other venues decide to cover the story or not, The Goldwater will continue to be on the case and offer updates as they are available.