West Harrison H.S. Principal accused of de-panting female student


January 26th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Authorities in Harrison County have been called to investigate an alleged incident involving a teenaged girl and the principal of the West Harrison High School, in Mondamin. Sheriff Patrick Sears said school officials called his office after a  freshman at the high school accused her principal of pulling her pants down to her knees in front of fellow students. School officials are not talking about the Friday afternoon incident.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, the incident involved 15-year old Callie Merriman,  who plays guard on the girls basketball team, and Principal Mike Loftin, who coaches the varsity squad. Merriman told the paper the team was about to board a bus for a game when the incident allegedly took place. The teen was wearing warm-up pants but had forgotten her shorts at home that day. She said she went home to grab them, but they were still in her purse. Merriman and some teammates were leaving the girls locker room, and she says when she came out, she was standing by the boys locker room, the coach was talking, and she said – quote – “I guess he meant it as a joke and just yanked at my warm-up pants.” The girl says she screamed she wasn’t wearing any pants underneath the warmups, which went down to her knees. She said she immediately went to the ground try to hide her underwear and pulled her pants back up. On the bus after the incident, Merriman said Loftin apologized repeatedly and offered to buy her candy.

Superintendent Joel Foster would not comment and declined to say whether Loftin was still employed or had been suspended, describing the incident as a personnel matter. He did tell The World-Herald that Loftin had worked for the district for about a year and a half. The district’s website indicates Loftin is principal of grades 7-12. Merriman said Loftin has not been seen at the school since the incident. Loftin reportedly told an Omaha television station school officials suspended him pending while an investigation into the alleged incident is being conducted by the sheriff’s office. He said the allegations were blown out of proportion.

No charges have been filed.