Teacher fired over sexual harassment incident at school

HUNTERSVILLE, NC (WBTV) - Lake Norman Charter school suspended students and fired a teacher after what administrators call a sexual harassment incident.

The involved a group of male students picked on another student after he passed gas at the end of gym class. The incident happened in April.

Caleb Foster was there and says he participated in the horse playing.

"All the guys were like messing with him," Foster said. "We are going to beat you up in the locker room, of course we were just playing."

The Lake Norman Charter School student says boys were horse playing in the locker room when things got out of hand.

"There was this kid who goes too far and twisting his nipples, so I'm like that's enough," Foster said.

The Huntersville Police Department investigated the incident and even watched images from the school's surveillance camera.

"It shows them escorting the alleged victim into the locker room," HPD detective Tim Lesser said. "That's all the surveillance footage that we had, and once he got in there, a bunch of horse playing among the students."

Lesser said the police department has completed its investigation.

"Really no evidence at this time," Lesser said. "To support it was bullying or hazing."

The police may have concluded that, but school administrators came up with their own investigation.

"I get called to the office and they said what we did was sexual harassment and gang banging, which I thought was a little far, and it turns out because of that Mr. Simko got fired," Foster said.

WBTV contacted school officials about why they decided to release the teacher.

The Lake Norman Charter School board chairman said she could not comment on this because it was a personnel matter and the school's executive director has not returned calls.

Foster says he was suspended for five days and believes he did nothing wrong.

"He knew the whole time we were messing," the student said. "I was definitely surprised."

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