A school board in Indiana Monday night unanimously fired a middle school teacher accused of sending sexually suggestive text messages, according to local media reports.
Bryan Tyman, 44, was a social studies teacher at Fegely Middle School in Portage, Ind. He was charged with felony sex counts involving "sexting" incidents with teen girls, nwitimes.com reported, citing police reports. "Sexting," as it's colloquially known, is the act of sending sexually suggestive or explicit messages or photos over wireless devices.
A former female student told police she developed a friendship with Tyman as a father figure and they played Xbox games online, the Post-Tribune in Indiana reported. But the relationship eventually became "creepy," the girl told authorities, according to the Post-Tribune.
Court records reviewed by nwitimes.com say that in December 2011, the then-14-year-old girl asked Tyman what he wanted for Christmas. "I think you know what I want," Tyman responded, according to court records. He was charged Monday with a Class D felony count of child solicitation over this incident, nwitimes.com reported.
Tyman was also charged with felony counts of vicarious sexual gratification and child solicitation for another Dec. 29 incident involving text messages exchanged with three girls, nwitimes.com reported. Police said Tynam asked for a sexually explicit photo of one of the girls and for the girls to perform a sex act while he watched, according to nwitimes.com. On the cellphone reportedly used by the girls, police also found a photo believed to be sent from Tyman, nwitimes.com reported.
Portage Township Schools Superintendent E. Ric Frataccia confirmed Tyman's termination with NBC News, noting that the teacher had been with the school system for about five years. But Frataccia declined to provide further comment Tuesday.
Tyman has also served as the coach of the Portage High School girls golf team, according to nwitimes.com.
Just this month, a former high school teacher in Alden, N.Y., pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, The Buffalo News reported. Officials say investigators determined Alden High School teacher Gerald Wild II had sent inappropriate instant messages to a 16-year-old student, the newspaper added. A judge ordered 46-year-old Wild to turn in his state teaching certificate and he now faces up to a year in prison, according to The Buffalo News.