Brophy teacher fired amid sexual misconduct allegations

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by Stacey Delikat

azfamily.com

Posted on November 30, 2011 at 6:13 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 30 at 12:11 PM

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PHOENIX -- A longtime math teacher at prestigious Valley private school Brophy College Preparatory has been fired amidst allegations of sexual misconduct.

School officials said Tuesday that two former students who are now adults came forward to report math teacher Dan Whitehead made "inappropriate sexual advances" toward them when they were minors.

School president Edward Reese said he reported the allegations to the Phoenix Police Department that same day and then fired Whitehead.

Whitehead taught advanced level mathematics at the school for 39 years, according to Brophy Vice President Adria Renke. He also was an assistant coach and club moderator.

"Our initial response is such sadness for all the child abuse victims everywhere, and the point of us bringing this out is to ask abuse victims if they've been abused to contact us," Renke said.

Parents and students at the tight-knit school were reluctant to comment on Whitehead's dismissal and the allegations, but most said they were shocked.

Class of 2004 alumnus Anthony Mein said he was a student in Whitehead's math class and was surprised by the allegations.

"I remember him being very strict and very overbearing. I never would have thought he would have had more than a short conversation with a student," Mein said.

Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said they were contacted by Brophy officials in regard to the incidents on Nov. 18.

Thompson said the victims have chosen not to come forward, and without information from them, the investigation has stalled.

"At the request of the now former students, their identities were withheld from police investigators and there is no known victim information at this time," Thompson said in a statement. "The information has been documented in a departmental report, but this investigation cannot proceed without additional information.”

In a letter to students and parents, Reese said Whitehead must be considered innocent until proven guilty under the law,.

"Out of concern for the safety and well-being of our students, I feel obligated to bring the accusations to your attention," he continued in that letter. "Brophy's desire is to express sorrow to victims of abuse, to help them in their healing and to make sure that Brophy is a safe environment for all students."

A call to Whitehead's home was not returned.

 

 
 

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