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Assault charges against WMC gym teacher dropped

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:06 AM

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.

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