Report of improper text messages probed

EAGLE POINT — The Eagle Point Police Department is investigating a report of inappropriate text messages sent between an assistant coach and a student-athlete at Eagle Point High School.

The police received a report of the texts Wednesday and immediately began an investigation, according to Chief Vern Thompson.

Thompson said that because the investigation is preliminary, he couldn't release any details about the allegations.

Eagle Point School District officials declined to comment on the case, including the nature of the text messages, when the complaint was filed or who it involves, because of personnel issues.

"I think you know if we did have a personnel issue, we wouldn't be able to comment on it," said Tim Rupp, Eagle Point High School principal.

"As always, we take every complaint seriously and follow all the necessary procedures, board policies and legal statutes," said Allen Barber, district human resources director.

Superintendent Cynda Rickert said in an email that investigation of a complaint against a coach is the building administration's responsibility. District policy requires administrators to work with law enforcement or the Department of Human Services to determine whether there is a legal requirement to report the matter.

If there is, administrators are directed to coordinate with law enforcement to complete a "thorough, timely and objective investigation, and ... take appropriate action, as required by district policy and by law," Rickert said.

Reports of the incident began surfacing in emails to the Mail Tribune during the week of Feb. 11. Eagle Point police said they were notified about the matter on Feb. 20 but did not say who notified them.

Though multiple sources have named the coach, the Mail Tribune has so far been unable to talk with anyone who saw the text firsthand and can confirm the identity of the alleged sender, so the paper is not reporting the name.

According to sources, the coach no longer has a position with the district.

Reach education reporter Teresa Ristow at 541-776-4459 or

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