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Published: Thursday, 10/24/2013

School district fires Indiana teacher charged after alleged strip club visit with students

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CEDAR LAKE, Ind. — A northwestern Indiana school district has fired a high school chemistry teacher who faces charges after allegedly taking students to a strip club and giving them alcoholic beverages at his home.

Hanover Community School Corp. Superintendent Tom Taylor said the district’s Board of Trustees terminated the contract of 31-year-old Travis Lechien of Crown Point on Tuesday night, effective immediately.

“He was terminated for immorality. We will send him a letter through our attorney,” Taylor told The (Munster) Times.

Lechien was suspended with pay Sept. 10 from Hanover Central High School in Cedar Lake, about 15 miles south of Gary, after administrators investigated the case. Lake County prosecutors filed three misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor against him on Oct. 7.

Taylor said he has not received any calls or complaints from parents, but he hopes they and the community understand the board acted as swiftly as possible with “student safety” in mind.

None of the students involved has been reprimanded or punished, Taylor said.

“I think the issue here is with the adult involved,” he said.

A message seeking comment was left today with Lechien’s attorney, Richard Wolter of Merrillville.

Court documents say Lechien allowed the students to drink beer and other alcoholic beverages at his home and took some of them to a strip club in Hammond to celebrate a student’s birthday.

Lechien is scheduled for an initial hearing on the criminal charges Nov. 19.

In addition to teaching chemistry at Hanover Central High School for nine years, Lechien also was the head boys volleyball coach and sponsored several after-school student activities.


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