A Lebanon High School algebra teacher was fired last month for inappropriate contact with a female student and lying about the incident to the principal, according to personnel records.
Personnel records received Wednesday through state open records law request by The Democrat show Maged William Ebrahem was fired Sept. 24 after a due process hearing on allegations he had inappropriate contact with a student the same day. The Democrat learned of the incident earlier this month through Facebook posts, which prompted the request.
According to hearing notes included in his personnel file, Ebrahem was accused of inappropriately touching the student on her bottom. When questioned about the incident, Ebrahem said he saw a cellphone about to fall out of the girl’s back pocket and tried to pull the phone out to keep it from falling.
According to the hearing notes, Ebrahem said he pulled the phone, but it never came out of her pocket.
“He did make an error in judgment that involved physical contact with a student that was unacceptable by the professional standards we have for educators,” Director of Schools Tim Setterlund said. “Therefore, he was terminated.”
According to personnel records, Ebrahem was hired Aug. 5 to replace an unidentified teacher, who left for unknown reasons. The file said Ebrahem had one and a half years experience as a math teacher.
The hearing notes said, “He stated he was released from Metro for the same thing. He swore he never touched her bottom.”
Setterlund confirmed Ebrahem was employed by Metro Nashville schools prior to Wilson County schools hiring him to work at Lebanon High School.
“We had no knowledge of any incident prior to employing him,” Setterlund said. “In fact, he came with glowing recommendations from Metro. It wasn’t until his termination conference with Mary Ann Sparks, our HR director, that we had any knowledge of any similar incident anywhere else.”
According to the hearing notes, Ebrahem said he was about 2 feet away from the student. But the notes indicated Ebrahem approached the student from about 15 feet away, according to surveillance video of the incident.
“When I asked [Ebrahem] why he just didn’t tell her to protect her phone, he shrugged and said it was a mistake,” the hearing notes said.
According to the hearing notes, Ebrahem was asked to make a statement against the student’s report.
“Because she need to put me in trouble,” the hearing notes indicate Ebrahem said.
Also included in Ebrahem’s personnel file were several disciplinary forms Ebrahem filed against an unidentified female student and an unidentified male student for various disruptive classroom behavior.
Ebrahem did not sign the hearing notes. Lebanon High School principal Myra Jane Sloan, Wilson County schools human resources director Mary Ann Sparks, and safety director David Burton conducted the hearing. Setterlund wrote Ebrahem a letter dated Sept. 24 informing him of his termination.