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Teacher resigns in wake of investigation into inappropriate behavior

By Aaron Luna, KXLY4 Reporter / Weather Anchor , aaronl@kxly.com
Published On: May 08 2012 07:58:44 PM CDT
Updated On: May 08 2012 09:18:39 PM CDT
shadle park teacher ryan murphy
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Shadle Park High School teacher won't be finishing the school year after a special investigator found that teacher acted inappropriately both in and out of the classroom and online.

Ryan Murphy is under investigation by the district for inappropriate behavior around female students and, acting on a tip, KXLY 4 News requested records from the Spokane School District for Murphy nearly two months ago.

The district finally sent us the report this week: 500 pages of interviews with students, other teachers and Murphy himself.

The report shows Murphy crossed the line with several female students through his words and his actions with questionable behavior that began years ago.

As a teacher at Shadle Park for the last 11 years Murphy has worked closely with thousands of students. The investigation found that he crossed the line between close and intimate.

Acting on a complaint from a female student, a special investigator hired by the school district questioned Murphy along with other students and teachers. What the investigation uncovered was a troubling pattern of inappropriate behavior.

Murphy asked a cheerleader to "ride alone" with him to a state wrestling meet because she was his quote "favorite." He also admitted that he said "I love you" to another cheerleader, but says it's something he says to quote "lots of kids."

The investigator also found that Murphy makes comments to female students about their clothes, and told one girl that she looked "super hot."

The findings continue, with Murphy going as far as telling yet another female student, "If I were in high school, you'd have a crush on me."

There are numerous other incidents; the investigation found Murphy admitted to telling inappropriate personal stories in class about fraternity parties and girls he'd been with. The report also included letters from parents who complained that Murphy had posted photos to his personal Facebook page of himself with his arms around girls in their prom dresses.

Investigators also made copies of Valentine cards Murphy received from students, many with suggestive and vulgar messages, another hint at the type of teacher-student relationship he nurtured.

Female athletes also complained that Murphy made them uncomfortable when he touched them on the shoulders or legs. Murphy denied any inappropriate touching, but the investigator found the students' complaints credible.

Perhaps most troubling is that Murphy has a long history of questionable behavior.

KXLY 4 News pulled Murphy's disciplinary records and found he was once suspended without pay for 10 days for yelling profanities and shoving a student in a classroom.

In 2005 he let two students drive his truck; when the two rear ended another car police found liquor in Murphy's glove box and discovered the students didn't have licenses. For that, he was given a written warning.

KXLY has asked the school district if the investigation is complete, but hasn't received a response. However Murphy's teaching days at Shadle Park appear to be over. The school district says Murphy submitted his resignation which they accepted. Murphy will finish the school year on paid administrative leave.

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