We as parents blindly send our children to school everyday, putting their well being in the hands of their teachers who we assume will do their duty and protect them from harm. Unfortunately, all too often we are let down by the teacher’s that we entrust to care for our children. Every time we hear a story on the evening news of a teacher who broke our trust by we think thank goodness that is not my child’s teacher, and we blindly believe it could not happen in my town.
On Monday, June 11th, Brett Coogle resigned from his teaching position with the Jefferson County Public School System amid an investigation into provocative pictures that had surfaced regarding a controversial incident that involved Coogle at Western High School’s prom. Coogle had been reassigned to non-instructional duties by the school’s principal on May 17th, when the investigation into the incident was launched, according to Lauren Roberts, a public information officer with Jefferson County Public Schools.
Just a few days after Western High School’s May 11th prom students were passing pictures around the school, and one picture in particular caught the eye of a concerned staff member, who promptly alerted the school’s principal, Louis Hughley, Jr., to the photo. The photo in question allegedly shows Brett Coogle using his teeth to remove a candy garter belt from a female student.
Student’s claim that Mr. Coogle was only “joking around” but many adults feel that his joking crossed the line. A few in the community have questioned whether or not the female student was of consensual age. Even if the student was of consensual age the main objective many in the community are keeping in mind is that it was Mr. Coogle’s place to be at the prom as a chaperone and a teacher, not as a reveler at the party. Many feel that even if Mr. Coogle was only joking around with the students as they claim, it was still inappropriate for him to pose for a sexually suggestive picture with a student.
Louisville, Kentucky is not a small city by any means, but it does lack the hustle and bustle of larger cities like Chicago, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. You don’t expect something bad to happen here. What pictures show Brett Coogle, a Western High School English teacher, did at the school’s May 11th prom may not be horrible to some, but it does have parents of Jefferson County Public School students in an uproar, and has gained national media coverage.
Brett Coogle has been a teacher at Western High School since 2001, and has coached the school’s fast-pitch softball and volleyball teams. He was a popular teacher, and a well-liked coach.