Over 100 Ooltewah High Graduates Ask For Full Independent Investigation Of Situation At OHS

Monday, January 4, 2016

Over 100 Ooltewah High School graduates, saying they are saddened and outraged by the alleged rape of a 15-year-old basketball player by three teammates, are calling for a full independent investigation.

Dr. Regina Baucom said the alumni also want current OHS students educated about rape, sexual assault and bullying and those responsible be held accountable.

She said, "I hope it is apparent that many graduates far afield and close to home are watching this case very closely, and we ask that you address this incident head-on and as transparently as possible within the confines of the law."

The alumni sent this letter:

Dear Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Rick Smith, Assistant Superintendent Lee McDade, Ooltewah High School Principal Jim Jarvis, and members of the Hamilton County School Board,

It is with both sadness and outrage that we, the undersigned alums of Ooltewah High School, have read about the rape and sexual assault of a 15 year old Ooltewah High freshman on a recent school sponsored sporting event in Gatlinburg, TN.

We echo Hamilton County Board of Education Chairman Jonathan Welch in saying that this is a horrific incident. Here, we pose to you the same question that School Board member Rhonda Thurman recently asked: “How have we gotten to this point?”

We want to know why these children were left in harm’s way, especially if bullying by the perpetrators was reported prior to the sexual assault? How can the atmosphere on a high school sports team be so toxic as to lead to a potentially life-threatening sexual assault? Our concerns are not only for the victim but also for all of the current and previous students of Ooltewah schools. Are these children learning about sexual violence prevention? If not, how can we be assured that students, both male and female, are safe from rape and sexual assault? Are members of the school board, teachers and coaches willing to stop such violence and hold perpetrators accountable?

While we understand that criminal charges have been filed by Gatlinburg police, we specifically call for the Superintendent and School Board to do the following: first, perform a review of this incident using an outside auditor or detective to determine how this happened and prevent such violence to occur in the future; second, hold those responsible accountable; and third, educate the students of Ooltewah about rape, sexual assault, and bullying -- how to identify it, how to stop it, and most importantly, how to get help if they have been the victim of such crimes.

As alums of Ooltewah High we depend on you to create the right atmosphere for students. Instead of burying this incident of rape and assault, we ask that you address it head-on and as transparently as possible within the confines of the law.

Sincerely,

Regina S Baucom, Ph.D., Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Therese Hamn Parker, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Wendy Burchfield, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Eve Osborne, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Marvette Denson, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

James C. Mosley, III, MD, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Brandon Buckner,  Ooltewah High School class of 1993

Mandy Lawson Hatfield, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

April Barnhart Barbee, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Angela Rose, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Debra Palmiter Morgan Keeney, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Meredith Nall Ownby, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Dana Ellison Barka, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Kim Mathis Ford, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Sharon R Johnson, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Bekah Pollack, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Virginia Ellis Wilson, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Tamara Westmoreland McCoy, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Page Freeman Ratcliff, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Jennifer Harris Guider, Ooltewah High School class of 1991

Bonnie Cofield Brown, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Kip Brown, Ooltewah High School class of 1993

Sandi Byrd, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Kacey Brown, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

John Arthur Spalding, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Amanda DeFriese, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Callie Blaylock, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Malanna Arp Massey, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Crissy Hubbs, Ooltewah High School class of 1990

Jenny Poole Havron-Miller, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Gina Cross Cooper, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Brittany Ledford Morris, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Peter Evan Brown, Ooltewah High School class of 1998

Tonya Ricketts, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Jason Coots, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Tammy Hughes Clowers, Ooltewah High School class of 1984

Steve Moore, Ooltewah High School class of 2000

Allyson Sims Abbott, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Gretchen Warner Allen, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Peggy Humphreys, Ooltewah High School class of 1963

Tiffany Jeffers Taylor, Ooltewah High School class of 1998

Sean Jones, Ooltewah High School class of 2003

Andi Gross,  Ooltewah High School class of 1989

Delissa Strickland-Marshall, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Marcy Colleen Wilson Purcell, Ooltewah High School class of 1989

Jaime Denton Bingham, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Demarland Dean, Ooltewah High School class of 1986

Sonja Gilley, Ooltewah High School class of 1993

Leanna Wiggins, Ooltewah High School class of 2000

Linda Nickolson Atterton, Ooltewah High School class of 1973

William S. Powell, Ooltewah High School class of 1990

Juanita Pastrana Sholtz, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Athena Brewer Nascimento, Ooltewah High School class of 1993

Dana Holmes Woodling, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Kathy R Hill, Ooltewah High School class of 1994

Alicia Blevins, Ooltewah High School class of 2006

Teresa Parker Weddle, Ooltewah High School class of 1986

Tammy Akins Goforth, Ooltewah High School class of 1991

John Hale, Ooltewah High School class of 1995  

Melissa Gallagher Montgomery, Ooltewah High School class of 1989

Stacy Hughes Britt, Ooltewah High School class of 1993

Stuart Cooper, MBA, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Jaime Bak Gibson, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Celestial Jackson Allen, Ooltewah High School class of 1990

Donna Bowers, Ooltewah High School class of 1980

Gary Bowers, Ooltewah High School class of 1978

Nicole Warner Rhodes, Ooltewah High School class of 1997

Linda Sanders, Ooltewah High School class of 1979

Amanda Cook Whitaker, Ooltewah High School class of 1997

Emily Hagan, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Shonda Witherow, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Jeffery Viar, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Michael Taylor, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Michael L. Sheppard, Ooltewah High School class of 1989

Shirley Plott, Ooltewah High School class of 1973

Sherry Souza, Ooltewah High School class of 1983

Beth Parson, Ooltewah High School class of 1963

Tim Duggard, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Sandy Gilbert Dorn, Ooltewah High School class of 1990

Jason Young, Ooltewah High School class of 1992

Tiffany Birchfield, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Lawrence Shull, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

April Mcclure, Ooltewah High School class of 2000

Jamie Newell Hollingsworth, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Carrie Jones Hinesley, Ooltewah High School class of 1995

Robby Garcia, MBA, Ooltewah High School class of 2004

Wilma Young, Ooltewah High School class of 1958

Christine Archey, Ooltewah High School class of 1990

Kelley Hullender, Ooltewah High School class of 1999

Laura K. Sellers, Ooltewah High School class of 1996

Allison Fitzgerald Hobbs, Ooltewah High School Class of 1996

Will Hobbs, Ooltewah High School Class of 1997

Sam Axley, Ooltewah High School Class of 1986

Kristi O'Dell Hill, Ooltewah High School Class of 1987

Jill Gobert Conner, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Donna Hullander Gobert, Ooltewah High School Class of 1965

Cheryl Livingston Biggs, Ooltewah High School Class of 1988

Katie Cowley, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Tracy Simmons Downey, Ooltewah High School Class of 1997

David Stynchcombe, Ooltewah High School Class of 1993

Misty Fryar, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Devon R Loftin, Ooltewah High School Class of 1991

Kelly Thomas Ellis, Ooltewah High School Class of 1987

Gina Lansford Howell,  Ooltewah High School Class of 1978

David Blair,  Ooltewah High School Class of 1992

Adrienne Messer, Ooltewah High School Class of 1997

Scarlett Johnson Dunn, Ooltewah High School Class of 1998

Jake Hadacek, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Danny Lay, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Rodney K Hardy, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Shelia Swanson, Ooltewah High School Class of 1978

Paula Runyan McDaniel, Ooltewah High School Class of 1986

Matthew Thompson, Ooltewah High School Class of 1993

Jessie Jumper, Ooltewah High School Class of 1995

Fred Clark III, Ooltewah High School Class of 2003

Alisha Barrett-Ross, Ooltewah High School Class of 1998

Melissa Kuebler Warner, Ooltewah High School Class of 1991

Lori Reid, Ooltewah High School Class of 1990

Linda Baker, Ooltewah High School Class of 1960

Carmen Crockett Hankins, Ooltewah High School Class of 1997

Tara Nikki Hardy-Gladden, Ooltewah High School Class of 1991  

 

Names added after initial letter sent:


Chris Simmons

Catt Damon

Rehannon Militello, Ooltewah High School Class of 1998

Mark Whitman, Ooltewah High School Class of 1994  




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