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Area teacher quits after fantasies revealed

By Caitlin Nearhood • Apr 18, 2019 at 5:00 PM

HURON — A former Huron music teacher recently resigned after allegedly sending inappropriate messages to high school students.

On March 5, district administrators received an anonymous tip that Joshua Cebull, 25, of Vermilion, allegedly “described explicit sexual fantasies” involving a female Huron High School student in an Omegle online chat room, according to an educator misconduct report sent to state education officials. The Register obtained the document through a public records request.

Omegle is a free online chat website that allows users to socialize with others without the need to register, according to a Wikipedia entry about the social media site. The service randomly pairs users in one-on-one chat sessions where they chat anonymously using the names “You” and “Stranger” or “Stranger 1” and “Stranger 2.”

When questioned by Huron Schools officials, Cebull allegedly admitted to having fantasies about Huron High School students and sharing them online with another person and “sharing photographs, taken from the student’s social media account, with the anonymous person online,” the misconduct report states.

Cebull was put on paid leave the same day school officials were told about the interactions. While investigating, Huron Schools learned Cebull had allegedly “written about similar fantasies with an additional three girls” at Huron High School, according to the misconduct report.

Huron Schools negotiated a settlement for Cebull to resign, which was effective March 31. Superintendent Dennis Muratori said Cebull has not received compensation beyond that date. 

Cebull, who worked as a part-time band and choir instructor, was initially hired to teach grades 5-12 last summer before this school year. He completed his student teaching at Huron Schools, was a substitute teacher and assisted with the high school’s marching band, the district’s website states.

Huron police Chief Bob Lippert said his department wasn’t involved in the investigation. 

The state board of education can pursue disciplinary action if a licensed educator “has engaged in conduct unbecoming of the teaching profession or has pled guilty to or been convicted of any felony offense, misdemeanor sex offense, violent offense, theft offense or drug abuse offense,” the Ohio Department of Education’s website states. An educator can request an administrative hearing to challenge the intended discipline.

If cause for discipline is determined, the state board of education votes on what, if any, action to take. Discipline ranges from a letter condemning the educator’s actions, license suspension, limitation and revocation.

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