Mayberry Middle School teacher arrested for child sex crimes

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WICHITA, Kansas — A teacher at Mayberry Cultural and Fine Arts Magnet Middle School has been arrested for alleged sex crimes involving children.

Terry Couch, 55, was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail shortly before midnight Wednesday on two charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Couch is listed as a physical education teacher at the school.

Sedgwick County jail booking records show he was booked on charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

Under Kansas law, an indecent liberties charge can be considered “aggravated”  for several reasons, including if it involves sexual intercourse with a child between 14-16 years old, or fondling or touching a child in that same age range, or soliciting a child under 14 to participate in those acts.View the Kansas statute on child sex crimes here.

Earlier in February, KSN reported a teacher was placed on paid administrative leave after accusations against him were made by a student.

Wichita Public Schools are Mandatory Reporters, meaning that it is district policy to report any accusations to police and put the faculty or staff member on paid administrative leave while the accusations are investigated.

Mayberry principal Eric Holdeman sent out an email Thursday to parents, alerting them of a teacher’s arrest. While Holdeman would not name Couch, KSN has confirmed his arrest through jail booking records.

In his message to parents, Holdeman said, “…be assured that we are doing what we can with the safety of our students in mind. The teacher will not be returning to Mayberry.”

Read the full text of Principal Holdeman’s email message below.

Good evening Mayberry Middle School. This is principal Eric Holdeman. I’m calling to make you aware that a teacher at Mayberry is the subject of a law enforcement matter and was arrested. Our district is cooperating fully with authorities. Consistent with district policy, the teacher is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. While I can’t share more information because it is a personnel issue, be assured that we are doing what we can with the safety of our students in mind. The teacher will not be returning to Mayberry.I appreciate your on-going involvement in our school, and look forward to a continued safe and successful spring semester. As always, if you have questions about your child’s experiences at Mayberry, please don’t hesitate to contact me.Thank you, and have a good evening.”

In his biography on the school’s website, Couch said his goal is to help students improve their health and fitness.

Read Couch’s biography below:

“My goal in teaching Physical Education is to improve my students health and fitness well-being and introduce/ bring about new knowledge on the many different units that we do. I want students to come away with knowledge that they may not have prior knowledge on when it comes to sports/units that they are unfamiliar with. In my class, everyone is equal, whether they are athletically inclined/involved or not. Everyone earns grades the same way. I am also the Girls Track coach, and have been since 1983, as well as the head cross country coach at West HS. Teaching and coaching are definitely my passion!”

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