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Published: Tuesday, 8/13/2013 - Updated: 2 years ago

Bowsher High’s dean of students suspended

Lew Ackerman accused inappropriate relationship with female student.

Ackerman Ackerman

A Bowsher High School dean of students has been suspended after he was accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a female student.

Lewis W. Ackerman, 36, was placed on paid suspension July 5 while Toledo Public Schools officials investigate the allegation, according to district records. An internal TPS hearing with Mr. Ackerman will likely take place later this month, Assistant Superintendent Brian Murphy said.

The district received an anonymous report sometime over this summer alleging that Mr. Ackerman was involved in the inappropriate relationship during the last school year, Mr. Murphy said.

District security and staff have been investigating the allegations and Lucas County Children Services was contacted, but the matter has so far not been referred to police.

“[The district] has not made a decision to file charges, based on the facts we have,” Mr. Murphy said.

Mr. Murphy declined to provide details on the allegations, citing the pending investigation. No one came to the door Tuesday when a reporter visited Mr. Ackerman's Sylvania Township home.

District records listing disciplinary charges against Mr. Ackerman show that he is accused of unprofessional conduct, that he violated the state educators' code of professional conduct, violated several TPS policies, including the policy on staff and student relations, and that he is accused of committing sexual battery. The state's sexual battery law has several provisions concerning sexual relationships between educators and students.

Mr. Ackerman has spent most of his TPS career at Bowsher, serving in a variety of roles. District records show he's been a physical education teacher, a boys baseball and football coach, a girls tennis coach, an assistant athletic director, and as a teacher in the school's Behavior Intervention Center, which is a form of in-school suspension.

Records appear to show Mr. Ackerman started working in TPS in the 2001-02 school year as a substitute. Most employee reviews in Mr. Ackerman's file are positive, with evaluators complimenting his work with students and colleagues.

Mr. Murphy said that no other TPS staff members have been disciplined at this point over the allegations against Mr. Ackerman.

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

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