Eastside High School not told teacher was suspected of child abuse before he was hired
Alan Coleman taught social studies and coached the boy’s tennis team at Eastside High School in Gainesville for about a year – without anyone here knowing he had a history.
No one at Eastside knew Coleman’s last school – Capital City Public Charter School in Washington D.C. - fired him in 2015 because they suspected him of sexually abusing a former student for years.
Turns out, Capital City Public Charter School didn't report Coleman’s abuse to authorities, nor did they notify their own employees.
Just months after Coleman was fired, he landed a job in Eastside High School. Alachua County school spokeswoman Jackie Johnson tells CBS 4 they received a glowing reference on his application.
“We were told that this employee was an excellent teacher who brought a lot of positives to his school and when we conducted his background report it came out completely clean,” said Johnson.
Now Coleman is going to prison after he pleaded guilty to child sex abuse last week – but the question remains: Why was Coleman able to get another teaching job?
D.C. Police say they weren't notified about Coleman's crime until April 2016; and not by his former school, but by the victim herself.
U.S. Marshals arrested and charged Coleman weeks later.
The D.C. Attorney General is deliberating whether to file criminal charges against Capital City. The charter school issued a statement saying:
"We are confident that we discharged our responsibilities properly in this matter. We have cooperated with law enforcement in all phases of its investigation and will continue to do so."
Child abuse therapist Eliana Gil says school districts are required by law to pass along suspicions of abuse. "Everybody's got to participate… it takes a village," she said. “We've got to have ways to make sure there are red flags when they need to be there."
Gainesville Police Department says that since Coleman’s arrest, no victims have come forward.