Metro teacher accused and district doesn't call police - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Metro teacher accused and district doesn't call police

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Michael Pesce just got his Tennessee teaching license in August of 2017 and already he's out of the classroom.

Pesce was teaching culinary arts at Hillwood High School when he was accused of having inappropriate contact with a student. Now, Metro School has suspended him with pay. 

"It is really sad and disturbing," said one parent.  

"It should be a big concern of every parent," said another parent.  

News4 has since learned the district chose not to involve the police when they learned of the allegations against Pesce. Instead, they say they have opened an internal investigation. 

 "Often times, that is an issue," attorney Chad Butler explained during a 2017 interview with News4. "People in positions of authority, administrators in schools are reluctant, whether it be out of fear that they're going get a bad reputation or some type of embarrassment."

Butler used to prosecute child sex-abuse cases in Davidson County and is now working for the Tennessee Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence

This is an issue he's been talking about for a while: school officials not reporting inappropriate teacher-student relationships to the police.

"It's not only important schools involve police whenever there's an allegation," Butler said, they also need to do it quickly. 

"Any information is going to come out from a defendant who is caught off guard when they are initially approached by a detective or a DCS investigator with these allegations," Butler explained. "It's best school officials leave these things up to the police and the people who are trained to handle these situations."

A spokesperson for Metro Schools released a statement Thursday regarding Pesce's suspension:

"Michael Pesce, Culinary Arts teacher at Hillwood High, who is currently on admin leave started working with the District August 1, 2017. He was placed on leave Tuesday, March 6 pending the outcome of an investigation."

The district has not yet commented on their decision to investigate the allegations without police. 

Stay with News4 for updates. 

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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