OSBI Investigates Sexual Misconduct Claims At Pawnee High School - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

OSBI Investigates Teacher-Student Sexual Misconduct Claims At Pawnee High

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OSBI says there is an "open and very active investigation" into sexual misconduct allegations against a teacher in Pawnee, Oklahoma. OSBI says there is an "open and very active investigation" into sexual misconduct allegations against a teacher in Pawnee, Oklahoma.
Shane Gates said his cousin, Jeff Tatum, is accused of a crime he couldn't have committed. Shane Gates said his cousin, Jeff Tatum, is accused of a crime he couldn't have committed.
PAWNEE, Oklahoma -

A Pawnee High School teacher and coach is at the center of an investigation involving allegations of sexual misconduct, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

"The Pawnee County Sheriff's Office requested OSBI assistance with allegations into sexual misconduct between a teacher and a student in Pawnee," OSBI spokesperson Jessica Brown said.

PCSO Undersheriff Monte Johnson said his office turned over the case to OSBI in late March.

The investigation has been in the works for about two weeks, after the school received a tip with the allegations, but the school district won't say who made that report.

According to Brown, there is still an "open and very active investigation" into the allegations. At this time, no charges have been filed in the case.

Pawnee Superintendent of Schools Ned Williams confirmed Thursday "a basketball coach" had been suspended up to the 10 days allowed by state law, but wouldn't identify the coach or the nature of the suspension.  However, multiple other sources within the school district said Jeff Tatum -- the high school head girls' basketball coach, golf coach and junior high and high school history teacher -- is the one under suspension and has not been at work.

Parents and players packed into the Pawnee gymnasium on Thursday for an elementary school tournament, but basketball was the last thing on Shane Gates' mind.

"I've grown up with him, he's probably one of the best cousins I've got," Gates said.

He said Jeff Tatum is his cousin and is accused of a crime he couldn't have committed.

"He has pride in his job, so I think a lot of it's just a big hoax," Gates said.

Gates said Tatum is a family man with a wife and children.

"No way could it have been him," Gates said. "He cares too much for his kids and his wife to jeopardize it."

Gates said Tatum's wife told him the allegations are just rumors, and she's standing by her husband.

The superintendent said it's a personnel matter at this point and declined to comment further.

An attorney representing the district said the 10-day suspension ends Friday, and at that time, the superintendent will have to make the decision to either put the coach in question back to work or terminate employment.

 

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