Police: Beaverton teacher arrested on harassment charges

BEAVERTON, Ore. - A middle school band teacher turned himself in to police after an 8th grade girl accused him of harassment on Thursday, according to Beaverton Police.

Larry Coates teaches at Whitford Middle School.

Coates was arrested, charged with two counts of harassment and booked into the Washington County Jail on Thursday before he was released later that night.

Police said the student accused Coates of harassment during the school day on Thursday.

It was not sexual and the student was not hurt.

Police would not disclose the specific accusations but said non-sexual harassment includes offensive touching such as poking or pushing someone's chest, pulling hair or slapping.

Det. Sgt. Jim Shumway confirmed the student accused Coates of one of those forms of harassment, but would not reveal more details.

Coates was placed on administrative leave by the Beaverton School District.

According to Larry Coates' Facebook page, he's worked at the district since 1999.

This is the letter Whitford's principal sent to families:

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In an effort to maintain open communication, especially regarding issues pertaining to student safety, I wanted to inform you of an incident that occurred at our school today.

There was an incident involving a staff member and a student in period 1 band class which did not result in a physical injury. When we were made aware of the incident we contacted the Beaverton Police Department and Beaverton School District Human Resources. The teacher was arrested and is on administrative leave.

We will continue to work cooperatively with law enforcement and school district leaders to address this issue. We work everyday to create a safe learning environment for students and staff.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions.


Aaron Persons
Whitford Middle School