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Accused Cartersville High Teacher Fired

The Cartersville City Schools board upheld the termination of Sean McDermott, a math teacher employed by the system since August, who is the subject of a police investigation.

Updated Friday, 2 p.m.

CPD Capt. Mark Camp clarified a previous statement on "credible witnesses."

He said in this case, the witnesses police interviewed "didn't see anything," referring to the alleged inappropriate touching.

Original Report

The Cartersville High School teacher accused of inappropriately touching a student has been fired as the police investigation continues.

During a called meeting Tuesday, the Cartersville City Schools Board of Education upheld Superintendent Howard Hinesley's recommendation to terminate math teacher Sean McDermott's contract. He had been employed with the system since August.

"McDermott had asked for a hearing before the Board of Education following an investigation based upon complaints of students," Assistant Superintendent Ken Clouse said in a statement. "Those complaints and the resulting investigation indicated a violation of the Georgia Educators Code of Ethics." 

McDermott is currently the subject of a related, ongoing criminal investigation, Cartersville Police Department Capt. Mark Camp confirmed.

Last month, , prompting authorities to investigate incidents that allegedly occurred from Oct. 15 to Nov. 8.

McDermott was placed on administrative leave. His hearing Tuesday was lengthy; it began at 9 a.m. and concluded about 7:30 p.m., according to Clouse.

"Each side in the matter was allowed to call witnesses and present evidence. The burden of proof fell on the school system to make its case," Clouse added. "Regretfully, the school board came to its conclusion and upheld the termination recommendation."

Police have not charged McDermott with any crimes. Camp said investigators still need to interview another student, who is considered a witness, but added authorities to date have found "no credible witnesses."

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Related Content

  • Cartersville High Teacher Accused of Inappropriately Touching Student
steve December 21, 2012 at 01:14 AM
They found no credble witness? Hmmm seems a lil fishy to me. Maybe its bullshit.
LGG December 21, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I agree, no credible evidence therefor at this time the student has false accusationsand the teacher is innocent. Wow how that makes the school system look great, a bratty kid making false statments and a person who probably supports his family with his career is fired. If this comes out being true that the student lied her parents should tear her a@@ up. Oh im sorry thats whats wrong with kids today we cant whip our kids anymore and now they grow up with no respect...
Concerned Parent December 21, 2012 at 03:40 AM
How can you have no credible witness yet fire someone??? That just does not make any sense. If there are no credible witness then why terminate the teacher? Read between the lines folks...
David Fige December 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Police have not charged McDermott with any crimes. Camp said investigators still need to interview another student, who is considered a witness, but added authorities to date have found "no credible witnesses." WOW and then he has a case at his next hearing...
David Fige December 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I Think the burden of proof is much higher criminally then for the school Board. But NO Credible witness is very disturbing to me..
Marcene Banks Taff December 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM
I smell a lawsuit unless they come up with something credible.
Don December 21, 2012 at 12:50 PM
The way I read it, the police are stating that they have no credible witness to the alleged touching, not that the accuser isn't credible. If the teacher was alone with the girl i.e. "see me after class about your test", nobody else would have seen it. It doesn't mean it didn't happen, just a case of he said vs she said and therefore difficult to prove without reasonable doubt. If the teacher was a recent hire he was on a probation status to begin with. The school board chose to err on the side of caution to protect the students. Right decision in my book.
David Fige December 21, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I think the 90 day probationary period is over since he started in Aug. I do agree they are putting the safety of the students first. I bet he'll get a nice settlement and a clean record too..
brett December 21, 2012 at 02:52 PM
If they have no evidence why are they firing him.. oh this is bartow county you can shaft the good educators out of a job so.the ones with a 23% passing rate can keep.their jobs.. im ready to move back home.
Louise Roach December 21, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Hello, no evidence, no crime, or just a spoiled child that doesn`t get what she wants so therefore let`s get some crap started, and have some innocent soul put out, let`s get real people, wake up
Louise Roach December 21, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Ditto, Steve that`s what I say
CLUBFV December 21, 2012 at 03:21 PM
IF this is a he said-she said, this firing will end up costing the school board a lot of money as it should. I find it difficult to believe that the school board would have acted so precipitously without some clear and convincing evidence that this misconduct occured. But if they have, then let the chips fall.
Always an Emerson girl! December 21, 2012 at 06:42 PM
I would HOPE the teacher had sense enough not to have a one-on-one meeting with a student, male or female. In this day and age, that would be just crazy.
Bill Martin December 21, 2012 at 09:54 PM
It is important to look at what the reporter wrote above regarding "no credible witnesses." The report only quoted three words from a a statement that probably provided more information. The media typically only publishes snippets and not complete conversations they have with PIO's or other people they interview. In addition, the action by the school system is a civil action and not a criminal action. If you read the article in the tribune you will see that others have come forward about inappropriate situations. In court, if a witness says, "well she told me..." it is not admissible because it is not first hand knowledge by the witness. Again, people here comment when they do not know all of the facts and the media certainly never publishes all of the facts.
Don December 21, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Exactly! The teacher is presumed to be the one in control. The school board has a mandate to educate and provide a safe environment for students. A teacher should never put himself in a position where he is alone with an individual student. It's too easy for an assault to occur or accusations to be made. If nothing else the teacher should be fired for exercising poor judgement and placing the school system (and by extension the taxpayers) in a liability situation. If he's innocent, he won't make that mistake at his next job. If he's guilty, he's lucky there wasn't a witness and he wasn't sent to prison. If he sues the school district, he can kiss his teaching degree goodbye because no other school system will hire him... a risky gamble in my opinion. He should lick his wounds, learn his lesson and start over somewhere else.
John doe December 23, 2012 at 04:00 AM
He was my teacher before and he never seemed this way and he has a loving family so hopefully God will let the truth be known and set him free
Katie December 26, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Kids have way too much power these days! It seems like they can say anything they want and get away with it, and I feel that this is the result of a lack of strong parenting in modern homes. Sean McDermott was my teacher and soccer coach for two years, and he never acted less that professional. He is a good, Christian, family man with a heart for teaching, and this obviously false accusation has now tarnished his reputation.
JSE December 26, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Wow! If we should err on the side of caution then what about the idea of innocent until proven guilty? Teachers work hard to obtain degrees and certification. Sometimes all it takes is an accusation like this to end a career. I am a teacher and I am amazed at the way so many students "spin" the truth on a daily basis. Too bad we do not have local teachers unions in GA. Innocent until proven otherwise. We need to stop applying liberal situation should not apply in this high stakes situation.
Always an Emerson girl! December 27, 2012 at 06:02 AM
@ Katie, well the fact is, none of us are 'good'...evil lurks in the hearts of men/women you'd never expect. LET ME CLARIFY THIS: I am in NO WAY SAYING THIS TEACHER IS GUILTY. I wasn't there so I don't know but that's not my point anyway. My point is this: who would think that preacher was beating his wife and kids practically every night? Who would think a doting daddy (to the outside world) would be molesting his own daughter? Oh, the scenarios are endless and real. You never REALLY know people. You know only what they let you know. You only see what they let you see.
JSE December 31, 2012 at 01:10 AM
THEREFORE we can ONLY judge what we see and KNOW....Fired without evidence....Scary because this will potentially end his career and impact his family.
SCIU January 03, 2013 at 06:34 PM
No Supporting evidence....I was there during the event and some of my other witnesses also in class. The person(S) who reported the teacher the teacher talked to me and my other witnesses about how she disliked McDermott before a few days this happened shortly after the accident another strange quote by a few students " Man I hate McDermott wish he would get fired" 1 week later this happened. Another fact this so called "accident" "did not happen in class but shortly after class ended " which is fake nothing happened my fellow witnesses spread across all periods of class reported nothing happening except the same chattering of how they hated McDermott. There are some many stories of how this happen which they are all hoax. Strange how people chatter when they leave their class not knowing who and what listening! I have loads more info- exact names of everyone included in this - dates - quotes But thats no use now.
SCIU January 03, 2013 at 06:34 PM
No Supporting evidence....I was there during the event and some of my other witnesses also in class. The person(S) who reported the teacher the teacher talked to me and my other witnesses about how she disliked McDermott before a few days this happened shortly after the accident another strange quote by a few students " Man I hate McDermott wish he would get fired" 1 week later this happened. Another fact this so called "accident" "did not happen in class but shortly after class ended " which is fake nothing happened my fellow witnesses spread across all periods of class reported nothing happening except the same chattering of how they hated McDermott. There are some many stories of how this happen which they are all hoax. Strange how people chatter when they leave their class not knowing who and what listening! I have loads more info exact names - dates - quotes But thats no use now.
Always an Emerson girl! January 03, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I am absolutely dizzy and cross-eyed after reading your comment, SCIU. I have never understood people have obviously have no use for a period at the end of a sentence or the injection of a comma. Why wouldn't your information be of any use now? If it's true, you could very well be the difference in this man getting his job back (not that he will probably want it) and protecting his character.
Always an Emerson girl! January 03, 2013 at 07:04 PM
"People WHO obviously have no use..." good grief, you've rubbed off on me in just one minute! :)
kk January 10, 2013 at 09:04 PM
If you really want to help the the teacher write everything down and give it to him. His repuatation, career and integrity are all on the line. Feeb

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