Jordan Hatch
Jordan Hatch
The Paper has learned that a Southmont social studies teacher and diving coach has been suspended after he was arrested on a battery charge involving female students.
Jordan Hatch was arrested on a charge of Battery, a Class B misdemeanor, involving alleged behavior with female students on the swim team by Montgomery County police and was jailed. He posted bail.
According to court documents filed in Montgomery Superior Court 2, police talked to Southmont High School Principal Mike Tricker on Dec. 12 involving allegations of inappropriate comments and touching of female divers on the South team by Hatch. Police interviewed the students and Tricker contacted the Indiana Department of Child Services Child Abuse Hotline to file a report. Tricker placed Hatch on administrative leave as soon as the school was made aware of the allegations.
The next day, Tricker told police that he, assistant principal Joshua Hagenow and athletic director Aaron Charles met with Hatch without police present. During that conversation, Tricker said that Hatch told them he had made comments to a 16-year-old female diver about her breasts and that he touched two 14-year-old female divers heads and hips to help spot them.
Tricker gave police written statements from divers as well as statements from swim coaches Jane Coudret and Phil Keller. In those statements, the coaches said they were told that a member of the team was uncomfortable with statements Hatch allegedly made during a meet and that later a member of the diving team asked to stop diving and start swimming because she was not comfortable with Hatch.
According to court documents, the student said that Hatch whispered comments about her breasts to her and told her to keep the comments private. She also said that Hatch grabbed a student and pressed her buttocks into his groin.
The documents say that instances of some or all the above occurred on Nov. 19 during a meet against McCutcheon and on Dec. 4 during a morning practice.
Montgomery County Sheriff Ryan Needham released a statement at 10:35 Thursday morning that said Hatch turned himself in at the jail Wednesday and was released on a $1,000 cash bond. Needham’s statement said that his office became aware of the situation on Dec. 12.
“The incident was investigated by our school resource officer,” Needham’s statement read. “Southmont was made aware of the investigation and the Department of Child Services was also contacted. Upon completion of the investigation the report was sent to the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
South Montgomery Schools Superintendent Shawn Greiner confirmed to The Paper that Hatch taught social studies at Southmont Junior High and was placed on administrative leave from that position, as well as his job as diving coach for the Southmont High School team.
“When we became aware of serious allegations regarding one of our employees, we immediately placed the employee on administrative leave,” Greiner said in a statement. “This action was taken in order to protect students at our school from any possible danger. With the filing of charges, we have begun to review the facts known to us and will continue to take all action necessary to protect our students while these court proceedings run their course.”