ROCKINGHAM — The news of Evan Saleeby’s resignation at Pinecrest trickled through the tight-knit group of soccer coaches at the other Southeastern Conference schools.
However, no one was sure for the reasoning behind the departure of a coach who had posted a 52-6-9 record in his three seasons leading the Pinecrest program. His teams reached the third round of the state 4A playoffs all three years and advanced to the fourth round in his first season.
The explanation for Saleeby’s resignation surprised not only the people in Moore County, but the surrounding counties as well. Saleeby was arrested Wednesday afternoon and is alleged to have had inappropriate physical contact with a student.
The incident was said to have occurred on May 14. Saleeby was suspended with pay May 15 before he submitted his letter of resignation three days later.
If an event like that were to happen here, Richmond County Schools superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman said officials would take the same actions as their counterparts in Moore County.
“If a similar situation were to occur, appropriate measures would be taken by Richmond County Schools,” Goodman said. “The employee would immediately be suspended and an investigation would follow. Depending upon its outcome, action would be taken up to, and including, dismissal.”
Julian Carter, assistant superintendent for human resources, and Goodman cited the Board of Education Policy Manual Code 7300 and 7310 to support their actions.
Policy code 7300 tackles the issue of an RCS employee being arrested or convicted of a crime. It states employees are responsible for reporting if they are “arrested for, charged with or convicted of a criminal offense (including entering a plea of guilty or nolo contendere) other than a minor traffic violation (i.e., speeding, parking or a lesser violation).”
Goodman said there is also a safeguard in place to catch any employees who fail to follow that policy.
“Richmond County Schools Human Resources Department also pays for a system that immediately lets them know if any employee engages in criminal activity, ranging from minor traffic violations to arrests,” Goodman said.
Policy code 7310 addresses an event similar to the one Saleeby is alleged to have committed.
It states: “All employees are prohibited from dating, courting or entering into a romantic or sexual relationship with any student enrolled in the school system regardless of the student’s age. Employees engaging in such inappropriate conduct shall be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, and may be subject to criminal action as provided in G.S. 14-202.4 and 14-27.7.”
Saleeby is charged under N.C. General Statute 14-202.4, which is a Class I felony. It applies to “any immoral, improper or indecent liberties with a student” or “committing or attempting to commit any lewd or lascivious act” with a student, but does not include sexual intercourse. Each count carries a sentence of four to six months.
N.C. General Statute 14-27.7 addresses engaging in sexual intercourse or a sexual act with a student, which is a Class G felony. Each count carries a sentence of 10 to 13 months.
Reach managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.