Fayette teacher indicted in sexual misconduct charge 4.2

Written by David Green.

A Fayette teacher is on administrative leave pending the investigation of charges of sexual conduct with a student.

Physical education and health teacher Tabatha Fidler was placed on leave in January when school officials learned of the accusations against her.

She was indicted last week by a Williams County grand jury on one count of sexual battery involving a 16-year-old boy. The incident is alleged to have occurred at her Montpelier home last summer.

Under Ohio law, sexual battery includes engaging in sexual conduct when the offender is a teacher and the other person is a minor. The charge is a third-degree felony.

Fidler joined the district in the 2005-06 school year.

Gorham Fayette Superintendent of Schools Russell Griggs issued a press release about the matter March 27.

“The Board of Education views any allegations of inappropriate conduct very seriously and believed it was in the best interest of all involved if the teacher was removed from the school building during the investigation period,” Griggs wrote.

Now that Fidler has been indicted, the board will make a decision regarding additional action about her employment.

“The Gorham Fayette Board of Education prides itself on providing a first class education to its students,” Griggs wrote, “and this situation should not in any way diminish the hard work of all the employees in providing that education or become a distraction or hindrance to providing that education to its students.”

He expressed the desire for community members to allow the board to continue with its main focus: the education of the district’s children.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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