Friday, Dec 09, 2016
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Education

SOFTBALL TEAM

Springfield ex-coach to give up her state permit

Case involved driving a drunken student

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Springfield High School, Holland, Ohio.

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A former Springfield Local Schools’ softball coach will voluntarily relinquish her coaching permit, after she was accused last year of driving a drunken student past curfew.

Christine Zappone, 24, was an assistant varsity softball coach when she was arrested May 13, 2012, and charged with contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child.

She was also charged with one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia and drug abuse, both misdemeanors, for being in possession during the arrest of a small baggie of marijuana and a pipe used to smoke the substance, court records indicate.

She was suspended by the district, and eventually her contract was not renewed, though the charges against her were dropped in Toledo Municipal Court.

Despite the eventual halt to criminal prosecution, the school district reported her to the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Professional Conduct, and that office continued to investigate. Instead of fighting possible sanctions, Ms. Zappone decided to voluntarily surrender her pupil activity permit. The Ohio State Board of Education will vote today on her request to surrender the permit.

She declined to comment when contacted Monday.

Coaches in Ohio are required to have a pupil activity permit issued by the state.

Education board documents show that the charge against Ms. Zappone was that she failed to “maintain appropriate, professional boundaries with a student.”

Police records show Ms. Zappone picked up a 16-year-old girl from a party in Springfield Township and drove her to the 3500 block of Rushland Avenue in Toledo. The girl was in and out of consciousness, according to police.

Ms. Zappone initially told police there was no drunk girl with her, and tried to divert attention from her car, police records show.

The girl was taken to the hospital, and Ms. Zappone eventually admitted that she was her softball coach, and that she had picked her up at a party in Springfield and driven her to the Rushland Avenue residence.

Contact Nolan Rosenkrans at: nrosenkrans@theblade.com or 419-724-6086, or on Twitter @NolanRosenkrans.

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