Assault charges against WMC gym teacher dropped

Nonaggravated assault charges have been dropped against Western Michigan Christian High School varsity boys basketball coach and physical education teacher Jim Goorman. According to a report by the Norton Shores Police Department, Goorman was accused of shoving a female student in the back with his foot during gym class on March 17. Charges were never filed, and the two parties reached an out-of-court agreement when the Muskegon girl and her family decided they did not want to press charges, according to the police report.
Matt DeYoung
Sep 7, 2011

The police investigation lasted nearly five months and included interviews with several students in the class — along with Western Michigan Christian Principal Doug Doty; and the school’s dean of students, the Rev. Samuel Greer Jr.

The incident was also caught on video.

According to the report, the student was sitting on the gym floor and was not paying attention to Goorman, who was attempting to get her attention. The girl said she yawned loudly, which upset Goorman. She told police that he then began yelling at her to turn around — and when she did not, she was kicked in the back.

Several witnesses from the class confirmed that Goorman placed his foot on the girl’s back. Opinions varied as to the force of the impact, with several students describing the contact as a “tap” or a “nudge.”

Some of the witnesses said that the girl used profane language, and others noted that she does not like Goorman.

Goorman claimed the student was ignoring him while he was giving the class instruction. She was not facing him; and, when she did not respond, he simply placed his foot on her back to get her attention, Goorman said.

The case was later turned over to Newaygo County Prosecutor Robert Springstead, who said on June 22 that he had reviewed the case and decided to issue a warrant against Goorman.

However, on Aug. 1, Springstead told police that a civil agreement had been reached and that the girl and her family did not wish to press charges.

A supplemental police report dated June 24 stated that the girl and her mother told Springstead that they would be “settling the matter with the school seeking financial restitution, and that the criminal part was not as important to them.”

Goorman, 64, has led the Warriors to five state championships. The Norton Shores man has coached and taught at the school for more than 40 years.

Comments

newspaperlawyer

I really don't care what type of student this child was or what race.... I would hope the school looks at this issue very carefully and make the appropriate staff changes like a severance package along with the anger management classes. "Integrity" I glad this school has cameras to review the case. So who was telling the truth?????? I don't care if this is a private school or not. Our school teachers hands are tied and its really sorry how kids treat authority but we can't have liars teaching our kids either. Learn from the mistakes...

horst

newspaperlawyer, your one contradictions after another. Mr Goormans foot should have been a little lower and her parents should have planted their foot there also. That kid has now learned a valuable lesson about respect or the lack there of...there's a pay-off for poor behavior. I hope someday it returns to her ten fold. Furthermore, WMC is a private school. They should send the girl and her family packing. Mr. Goorman's resume speaks for itself, he does not need to justify or defend his behavior. I know for a fact he has built the character of many outstanding students in this community (some that could have gone a bad direction) and he should not be judged or convicted in the court of public opioion because of one snot-nosed brat. As the husband of an educator it frusterates me to no end to hear about incident after incident where the parents come in and justify the students unaccecptable behavior. Your opinion is more of the problem than the incident itself.

Justthefactsplease

GHT proposed new Fire Equipment,no doubt they may need new equip,however the Township is very clever in tying projects together,you get both or none,witness the recent road improvement and Township transportation buses.

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.