Indiana Wants To Revoke License of Tri-West Teacher Accused of ‘Immorality’
LIZTON, Ind. -- An Indiana Department of Education complaint to revoke the teaching license of a suspended Tri-West High School teacher alleges he “committed acts that involve immorality, misconduct in office, incompetency, and/or willful neglect of duty.”
According to the complaint filed Friday, math teacher and football coach Tyler Bruce became involved with a female student who was in his math class and interacted with him outside school hours as a coach’s aide. He asked the girl to use Snapchat to communicate with him “after his wife went to bed” because that way “there would not be proof.”
The girl sent naked photos of herself to Bruce after he repeatedly asked for them and threatened her grades. He also asked her to work out with him alone after school, encouraging her “to take ice baths after sporting events.” He would stay while she took the baths and ask her to remove some of her clothes. He also told the girl “she was too shy around him,” according to the complaint.
The complaint states Bruce on separate occasions touched the girl on the back, stomach, butt and pubic area.
After holding a hearing and at the discretion of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, the DOE can choose to suspend or revoke Bruce’s license, according to the complaint.
North West Hendricks School Corporation placed Bruce on administrative leave May 28 after the Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Child Services began investigating an anonymous tip about him.
During a July 29 meeting, school board members voted unanimously to reject an administrative recommendation to terminate Bruce’s contract.
The family of a student who said she was harassed by Bruce filed a tort claim Aug. 6 accusing him of “multiple incidents of child molestation and abuse” between January and May, during the student’s junior year. It also claimed the district failed to properly screen and monitor Bruce and negligently retained him as an employee.
“The first time Bruce touched [the student] was in his classroom,” the tort claim states. “Bruce said, ‘You owe me,’ and he ran his hand down her leg. On multiple occasions, he lifted up the back of her shirt and stuck his hand or hands up the back of her shirt or dress. On one occasion, Bruce put his hand up [the student’s] dress across the front of her pubic area.”
“It threw her life into chaos,” Jeff Gibson, the family’s attorney, told News 8 in August. “Unfortunately, my client was in a position where she didn’t feel like she could come forward with anything. In fact, the coach had made it clear that nobody would ever believe her; they would only believe him.”