Fitch teacher accused of exchanging inappropriate texts with fiv - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Fitch teacher accused of exchanging inappropriate texts with five students

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AUSTINTOWN TOWNSHIP, Ohio -

The Austintown Board of Education has initiated the process that could lead to the termination of a Fitch High School teacher for allegedly sending inappropriate texts to several female students.

Social studies teacher John Dietz had been on paid administrative leave since this past winter when allegations surfaced involving one student.

Since that time, school officials say they have learned about allegations involving four more female students. According to a statement from the board, Dietz allegedly sent texts to students and engaged in inappropriate conversations.

Details of the text messages have not been made public, but superintendent Vince Colaluca tells 21 News that police have been notified.

"Any type of allegation, we take it very serious and we look into it. And when a kid is put in situations they shouldn't be in, we deal with it very swiftly," said Colaluca.

On Tuesday, the school board passed resolution stating that they are prepared to terminate the contract with Dietz, once he goes through the due process procedure.

The board placed Dietz on suspension for the duration of the termination proceedings.

According to Ohio law, Dietz can challenge the allegations and ask that a referee be appointed to hear the case.

According to the Code of Professional Conduct from the Ohio Department of Education, educators shall maintain a professional relationship with all students at all times, both in and out of the classroom.

Soliciting, encouraging, engaging or consummating an inappropriate relationship with a student or minor is considered conduct unbecoming of a teacher.

Punishment for violations of the code range from suspension to revocation of a teaching license.

The Ohio Department of Education online database shows no current disciplinary actions against Dietz.

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