School issues statement on former Poplar Bluff coach

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Poplar Bluff Public Schools released a statement Monday, March 25 regarding their one time athletic director, Jim Brown.

Brown was currently serving as a physical education teacher when he was put on leave last October after allegations of misconduct. He was terminated in January of this year.

Heartland News spoke to friends in touch with Brown. He says he's not ready to speak out yet but feels the Department of Social Services took a wrong, and made it right. Now he says that's what the school board needs to do.

Monday, a spokesperson for poplar bluff public schools told Heartland News they are aware a DSS investigation looked into allegations of abuse and misconduct against Brown and did not find enough evidence to substantiate further action.

However in a statement, Poplar Bluff School Officials say they stand by the board's previous decision. In an 11-hour meeting back in December, the board concluded that brown quote: "Willfully and persistently violated multiple board polices, and thus he was released."

The statement goes on to say the school must hold a higher standard with it's employees.

Poplar Bluff Police tell Heartland they also conducted interviews with alleged victims in the case and those findings were forwarded to prosecutors. No charges were filed.

Heartland News is told Brown is working to clear his name.

The following is the full statement on Brown from Tim Krakowiak, communications/marketing coordinator for the Poplar Bluff R-1 School District:

"The Poplar Bluff R-I School District conducted its own thorough investigation into the allegations against Mr. Jim Brown. Upon Brown's request, the Board of Education held a public meeting to hear first-hand from 10 students over an 11-hour period, during which time the defendant and his lawyer also had the opportunity to testify. The board concluded in a majority decision that Brown willfully and persistently violated multiple board policies, and thus he was released from his tenured contract. The vote to terminate Brown stands irrespective of the recent ruling of the Department of Social Services. While the DSS investigates sexual abuse of children in accordance with Missouri statute, the school must hold a higher standard with its employees, having a legal and moral obligation to the public to employ teachers who maintain professional relationships with students."

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