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Trinity Standard - Local News

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Athletic teacher terminated by TISD
Trinity Standard -

TRINITY – A Trinity High School Athletic Teacher was arrested on Friday, April 11, by the TCSO (Trinity County Sheriff's Office). According to authorities, TISD (Trinity Independent School District) notified them of an investigation concerning an improper relationship between a teacher and a student. Once TISD obtained information of a possible improper relationship with a student, an investigation was launched. Jace Coones, 32, was suspended with pay and notified the Texas Education Agency, District Attorney's Office and the Trinity Police Department immediately. When authorities were informed of the investigation, all departments began working together to come out with hard facts. Since the initial investigation stemmed from a 'Tweet' TISD took consideration of all possibilities until the facts were obvious. TCSO asked Coones for his personal cell phone and found an image on it of a nude girl. After a short investigation TCSO found out that she was 17 year-old-girl from another school district. Not having any proof of a relationship with this girl they arrested Coones for having child pornography in his possession. During a School Board meeting on Monday, April 14, Coones was terminated immediately. His initial suspension was 'with pay' due to the board policy. TISD is sending this vital information to the Texas Education Agency in hopes of taking Coones' teaching certificate and disabling him from ever teaching again in a public school. This action may also remedy the school from the payments that have been made since the suspension, but those remedies are for the Texas Education Agency to decide. "Mr. Coones was removed from the classroom immediately after the district received serious allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a student. The district terminated his contract and he will not return to any Trinity ISD classroom. Trinity ISD will also continue to cooperate with the police, sheriff, and the Texas Education Agency investigations into this issue. Since this is an ongoing investigation, state law prevents me from commenting further." Stated Mr. Plymale, Superintendent of TISD By the Educator Code of Ethics, it is deemed improper to have a relationship with a student. The Code of Ethics states: "Standard 3.9. The educator shall refrain from inappropriate communication with a student or minor, including, but not limited to, electronic communication such as cell phone, text messaging, e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, or other social network communication. Factors that may be considered in assessing whether the communication is inappropriate include, but are not limited to: a. The nature, purpose, timing, and amount of the communication; b. The subject matter of the communication; c. Whether the communication was made openly or the educator attempted to conceal the communication; d. Whether the communication could be reasonably interpreted as soliciting sexual contact or a romantic relationship; e. Whether the communication was sexually explicit; and f. Whether the communication involved discussion(s) of the physical or sexual attractiveness or the sexual history, activities, preferences, or fantasies of either the educator or the student. "


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