Furloughed staff member at Des Moines Brody Middle School


A Brody Middle School staff member who is also the girls’ volleyball coach has been placed on paid administrative leave while administrators investigate a complaint filed against him by parents.

School administrators sent a letter to families on Wednesday notifying them that they had received a formal complaint about unspecified charges against an unidentified staff member.

Des Moines Public Schools confirmed Thursday that the only person currently on paid leave in Brody is Tracy Call, an all-girls volleyball coach listed as working in seventh-grade special education.

Call holds an active license for teaching and coaching.

The letter was released after a series of social media posts accusing Call of inappropriate conduct and criticizing the college for its handling of the situation.

“Some of you may be aware of the accusations on social media over the past two days involving a staff member at our school,” Brody principal Thomas Hoffman wrote in the letter. “An incident was finally reported to the school this morning (Wednesday).”

The call did not return a Facebook message Thursday seeking comment. The Des Moines Register couldn’t find a working phone number to call him.

The Des Moines Police Department is not investigating Call, said Sgt. Paul Parizek, the department spokesman.

The mother raises questions about the investigation

Michaelia Forbush told the Register on Thursday that she received a call in April from a Brody school official informing her that Call had been accused of inappropriately touching her daughter, among other girls.

The school investigated, but the charges were found to be unfounded, Forbush said.

Forbush said she raised concerns with school officials at the time about the investigation and whether students were being taken seriously because some were black students and/or or special education.

“I said, ‘Nothing’s being done about it because it’s little black girls? ‘” said Forbush, who is black.

The school district declined to say whether Call had ever been investigated, as multiple social media posts have suggested.

Spokeswoman Amanda Lewis said the school district “takes all complaints seriously and investigates accordingly.”

“The district would not keep anyone on staff who proves to be a danger to our students under any circumstances,” Lewis said.

Forbush transferred her daughter to another school this year.

Parents complain that they were not told

Aveantai Smith, who has daughters in Brody, was among those who posted accusations against Call of “inappropriately” touching female students. She said she also raised her concerns at school.

Smith said she started posting after learning the families weren’t told about Call’s alleged previous investigation, when he was believed to have been cleared.

“We didn’t know this had happened,” she said. “And that’s something you tell the parents about. Why didn’t you tell the parents?”

Smith said she has since removed her two daughters from the school volleyball team.

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The letter sent to the Brody families encouraged people to contact the school first with any concerns before posting on social media. He also said that several messages contained inaccurate information.

“I think we all know that social media is not the avenue we turn to to solve problems and investigate the safety of our learning community,” said Hoffman, the director.

Samantha Hernandez is in charge of education for the Registry. Contact her at (515) 851-0982 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @svhernandez or Facebook at facebook.com/svhernandezreporter.


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