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Ronan school finishes misconduct investigation

Allegations of inappropriate behavior found to be true

RONAN – The allegations of an inappropriate relationship between a student and a teacher within the Ronan School District were substantiated by a school investigation last week.

“As a district, we are beyond disappointed that one of our own would betray the values that define the Ronan School District, and will support any student who is subject to inappropriate conduct from a staff member,” Ronan School District Superintendent Mark Johnston noted in a statement. 

“We are committed to address the issues surrounding this type of misconduct and will ensure that our students, staff and community are part of the conversation as we navigate this difficult topic.”

The issue started when allegations of an inappropriate relationship between a teacher and a student were brought to administrators at the end of January. A Title IX investigation was opened, and a special school board meeting was held on Jan. 22. 

Zachary Rowan, Ronan Middle School English teacher and boys high school basketball coach, resigned through correspondence at the school board meeting. The teacher’s resignation was accepted before the school’s investigation was finished. 

The school continued the investigation and found evidence to support the allegations. Turning over the information to the state education agency was the next step. 

“As required by law, the matter has been referred to the Office of Public Instruction for further action,” he notes.  

Johnston noted that the female student involved is 18 years old so criminal charges won’t be filed against the man. Montana OPI could revoke his teaching certificate once their investigation is finished.


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