Hennessey Public Schools

Online | Hennessey Public Schools

HENNESSEY, Okla. — Hennessey Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to accept the resignation of its girls basketball coach Monday night. 

R.J. Ramer, who started as the girls basketball coach in June after the resignation of former girls basketball coach Marty McBride in March, submitted his resignation to the board on Thursday.

Hennessey Superintendent Joe McCulley read the resignation letter, hand written on yellow legal paper, out loud to the board.

“To whom it may concern, I, R.J. Hamer, resign my position of teacher and coach at Hennessey Public Schools, effective immediately,” McCulley read.

The board voted to assign Mark Cox, assistant football coach, as head girls basketball coach, and high school Principal Brady Barnes as his assistant coach. 

Board president James Matousek declined to comment on why Hamer resigned. Ramer did not return a call for comment by press time Monday. 

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is looking into alleged misconduct in the district, OSBI public information officer Jessica Brown said. 

“On Dec. 3, the police chief at Hennessey requested OSBI investigate an employee at Hennessey Public Schools district having an alleged inappropriate contact with a student,” she said. “We are investigating.” 

Brown declined to specify what kind of contact was being alleged. 

The board voted in July to adopt an electronic communication policy limiting such communication, such as texting, between students and district staff. Phyllis Walta, the district's attorney, said at the July board meeting that unless the student and staff member are family, there is no need for communication outside the school.

“We are trying to eliminate inappropriate contact between staff and students,” she said. “The professional relationships of students and teacher diminish when you become friends with them on a social networking site.”

The policy adoption came on the heels of alleged misconduct involving communication between McBride and a female student, which included discussions of “love and relationships." McBride announced his resignation March 11 via a post on Facebook. No charges were filed in the case, because District Attorney Mike Fields determined no laws were broken.

He did, however, voluntarily surrender his teaching license after an investigation by the Oklahoma Board of Education, earlier this month.

Two other Hennessey High School coaches, former baseball coach Mike Conway and former girls basketball coach Ben Davis Forsythe, pleaded guilty to sex offenses with students in 2011. 

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Asher is education reporter for the News & Eagle. She can be reached at sasher@enidnews.com.

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