June 18, 2018

HHS coach, teacher charged with having sex with student

(Franklin, GA) — A Heard County High School teacher and coach is in jail this afternoon after being formally charged earlier today with having inappropriate sexual relations with a student.

According to a press release issued Thursday afternoon by the Heard County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation began last week after county school superintendent Jerry Prince contacted Franklin Chief of Police Kevin Hannah in regards to allegations involving the teacher.

The male faculty member, 42-year-old Thomas Wayne Sickman faces a charge of Sexual Assault by Person with Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority.

Thomas W. Sickman (Photo: Heard County Sheriff's Office)

Thomas W. Sickman (Photo: Heard County Sheriff’s Office)

If found guilty, the felony charge is punishable by one to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Sickmanis alleged to have had inappropriate relations with an 18-year-old female student at the high school. The relationship is believed to have been ongoing for about two months.

After Prince notified authorities last Friday, a joint investigation was initiated involving the Franklin Police Department, Heard County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).

Evidence and statements gathered during the investigation allegedly sustained the allegations and the arrest warrant was issued for Sickman on Thursday.

Sickman turned himself in at the Heard County Jail earlier today and is currently being held without bond, pending a First Appearance hearing.   

He has been employed by the Heard County School system since August of 2006. He teaches Social Studies and coaches Track and Field/Cross Country at the school.

He also coaches the Heard County Middle School wrestling team and had been a regular umpire at the Heard County Recreation Department.

Sickman was placed on administrative leave by the school during the investigation. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

Stay tuned to HeardCitizen.com for further information as it becomes available.

Comments

  1. greeneyes says:

    Why do teachers even put their self in these situations ? I’m not saying he did this by any means. It’s just a sad situation. I’m probably gonna get bashed for this but I thought an 18 year old could make adult decisions. Just too many lives are ruined now days.

    • Shandala says:

      I said the same thing, it doesn’t appear she is claiming rape, it says a relationship for 2 mos. I can understand rules against dating a student, but to base it on her being 18 ? A case of poor choices on both their parts.

      • The charge is sexual assault by person with supervisory or disciplinary authority, there is no age limit for that

    • Antonio Crowe says:

      I feel the same way. I thought an 18 year old female was considered an adult.

    • Lisa Davis says:

      Not so when the person is in a position of authority

    • I was thinking the same thing isn’t 18 leagal

    • Daryl Swann says:

      You are right. 18? She must have wanted it, I mean if no one heard her scream or anything. 18 is an adult

    • 18 years old, is legal, but there’s a ethical codes a teacher must adhere to, he didn’t do that.. I am saying he did this, and I was looking for updates on it, but none are available.. it’s illegal and unethical for a teacher/professor, to have relations with students, so that’s the issue he is faced with.. he will not be able to teach anymore, or at least shouldn’t be allowed, but let’s take into the fact it’s a shameful thing to commit adultery (even though these days people don’t seem to have those morals) I’m curious of what his wife & kids did/doing, she was/is a teacher as well, seems he dropped off the face of the earth after this, and that tells you he must be ashamed ( he should be)

      If it had been my daughter, he wouldn’t have to worry about the police, I’d take the trash out myself.. My daughter had graduated from this school 2 years prior to this..

  2. Omg….he was my teacher in my senior history/economics class….wow…!!gross!!

  3. The chick is 18..wtf..

  4. The Girl is 18..wth..

  5. The girl is 18 …. She was going around school bragging about it so I don’t think he should be punished to be honest

  6. Brittany says:

    The age 18 is a legal adult correct? If it was going on for two months it was consensual. Sexual Assault for what? She obviously wanted to if it went on that long. Fired okay because teachers and students relationships are a no no but ruining his life with a sex crime when she was a legal adult that’s a bit extreme.

    • teachers aren’t allowed to carry any sexual relationship with a student. whether it was consensual or not he’s in trouble because he broke a guideline. now investigating it and stuff is really taking it too far …but he did break the rules.

  7. Sick Nastyyyyyyy!!

  8. I’m sorry but these teens these days do show to much and come on to ppl. yes his,a grown man and knows better. but also the girl should have to. i feel it’s not all his fault and the girl should be charged as well.

    • Sierra Laster says:

      It just as much as her fault as it is his. She’s 18. She knew what she would doing. She should get punished too.

    • Sierra Laster says:

      She should be punished just as well. If she had to bang a 42 year old teacher she is seriously desperately. Like idc if I get hated for saying this. Her career should be ruined just like his is right now.

      • No, she is 18, why should she be punished, she is a legal adult and can make her own decisions, i also see no reason (other than the rules regarding teachers and students in a high school setting) that he should be punished either.

        • Tammy Jenkins says:

          My sons both had him as a coach and he made a great impact in my son!! To me thus is NOT CRIMINAL at worst it’s ETHICALLY WRONG just due to it’s a student so both should be delt with!! Just my opinion I stand by ole Sickman

  9. The georgia code of ethics says that a teacher cannot have any relationship with a student until August 31 after they graduate high school.

  10. A 18 year old is of age I thought.

    • yea . however teachers are not allowed to have any physical relationship with students whether or be consensual or not. investigation and stuff is carrying it a bit to far however he did break the rules he was the “adu”lt in this situation and knew what he was getting into when he carried on with the relationship

  11. SUNNY GREEN EYES says:

    Why does everyone keep screaming she is 18! It doesn’t matter how old she is. She is a student of Heard county high school! And she might have been bragging about it but that only goes to tell u one thing about her! Am sorry they both are guilty!

  12. To those saying she is 18, it is still a situation where you are trusted in a supervisory role. Teachers should be mentors and protectors of students not seeking relationships with them. If you want to date after graduation, that’s your own business, but Teachers should never be going after students, no matter what age.

  13. He’s married with 2 kids. He messed up . For all y’all know, there could be more to the story. You don’t mess with a 18 year old student randomly.. Something could have happened with a younger student too. But still, being fired yes.. But going to jail doesn’t make since, since she’s 18 .. Did she just turn 18 ? Maybe that’s it. It’s been going on for 2 months. Maybe she just turned 18… Smh..

  14. The charge is sexual assault by person with supervisory or disciplinary authority, there is no age frame for that.

  15. Tina cantrell says:

    What 25 years for having sex with an 18 yearold for real wtf is wrong with people thes days dam shes 18 so what ok so they had sex who cares she dont so why is he in jail and she ant i think they need to let him go this is not right at all come on dam

  16. Just because it went on for two months doesn’t mean it was consensual. Sometimes abuse goes on for years before it gets reported. He is a lot older than she is and in a position of authority. She could have just gotten her nerve up to tell or maybe they were discovered. (This is assuming that he’s guilty)

  17. “What’s in a name?”

  18. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. Need to get this stuff under control. Ridiculous.

  19. Yeah she’s 18 and she can legally make adult decisions, but what 18 year old actually makes responsible decisions? Almost none. As for Sickman, he’s a grown man and whether she’s “legal” or not, she’s still a little girl and he knew better. What do they even have in common? She was born when he was 24. I’m not saying she’s totally innocent either, she should definitely be punished as well. If they wanted to presume a serious relationship they should have waited till she graduated.

  20. randy jordan says:

    she is 18 and by Law that is an adult…..last year my grandson was 17 yrs. old and heard co high kicked him out for a misdemeanor and his age..the other students involved also with him were 16 yrs. old and only got suspended …… heard co. high thought of my grandson as an adult at age 17 so yes the young lady’s age does make a difference…the article said it has been going on for 2 months so my guess would be she did not feel threaten or she would have reported it sooner…..

    • he still went against an agreement that all teachers make when they get the job… student teacher relationships are frowned upon and be knew what he was risking when he carried on with the relationship …

  21. Just saying says:

    Would you want it to be your child?

  22. as long as they are still in school, they are considered “under age”….

  23. THE FACTS says:

    EDUCATOR CODE OF CONDUCT
    http://www.gapsc.com/Rules/Current/Ethics/505-6-.01.pdf
    (b) Standard 2:
    Conduct with Students –
    An educator shall always maintain a professional relationship with all students, both in and outside the classroom. Unethical conduct includes but is not limited to:
    1. committing any act of child abuse, including physical and verbal abuse;
    2. committing any act of cruelty to children or any act of child endangerment;
    3. committing any sexual act with a student or soliciting such from a student;
    4. engaging in or permitting harassment of or misconduct toward a student that would violate a state or federal law;
    5. soliciting, encouraging, or consummating an inappropriate written, verbal, electronic, or physical relationship with a student;
    6. furnishing tobacco, alcohol, or illegal/unauthorized drugs to any student; or
    7. failing to prevent the use of alcohol or illegal or unauthorized drugs by students who are under the educator’s supervision (including but not limited to at the educator’s residence or any other
    private setting).

    • According to this, a baseball coach that gives one of his 18 year old ball players some chewing tobacco during practice could get thrown in jail without bond, sentenced to 25 years and forced to pay $100,000. Oh… and loose his job. This is stupidity!!!

  24. Everyone must follow rules. Teachers, Cops all service Careers must follow Protocol. He knew as a Trusted Teacher that the relationship was 🚫 illegal. He abused his power and brought shamed to his fellow associates and school. If He is married with kids another diminishing obstacle. Unfortunately, the law states ALL PHYSICAL relationships between teacher and student ARE PROHIBITED. If she’s 20yr.old Senior n he’s a single 27yr.old teacher and the sex was consensual..it’s STILL ILLEGAL..AND CONSIDERED SEXUAL ASSAULT.

  25. gare bare says:

    Coach sickman was my coach. it is a little disturbing of what he has done, but i know he is a good guy and just needs another chance.

  26. Unanimous says:

    Free NASTY DADDY

  27. Nonnie wells says:

    Not that it makes it right.18 years old is past consenting age.

    • Very true it was consentual both ways she is an adult by law now. She was not forced or pressured by him or his authority. Im sure the acts were off campus and honestly this happens all day long in the real world. I dont really understand the angle being taken by authorites. Yes fire him obviously it was a conflict of interest as far as teacher student conduct code. But all the hype and suggested jail time is crazy. And sexual assualt by authority or disciplinary authority doesnt even fit the situation. If i recall Ol Dirty Bills acts as president fit this bill. He was not charged or impeached and that was plain as day more of a fit to these charges. Oh and his wife is running for prez so it didn’t even tarnish the clinton name. Ps this is Joe not laura making this response my phone is down so any irate messages send them to my account thanks.

  28. Most of you are seeing several valid legal issues, so I wanted to help point you in the right direction.

    Under Georgia Law, the age of consent is 16 years of age. Any person under the age of 16 cannot consent to sexual conduct, with very narrow exceptions, such as marriage. Consent between the participants is not even a factor. Similarly, Georgia laws also proscribe any sexual conduct between anyone in a authoritative type position over someone in their control. Examples are teacher/ students, correction officer/ prisoners, etc.

    Based on the allegations in this matter, it would be against the law for a student to have any sexual conduct with anyone in an authoritative type role in the school system. It does not matter that the student is 18, two years past the age of consent. Clearly, the legislature sought to prevent people abusing their authoritative type position over people under their guidance or control.

    Despite the innocence of this man at this point, it’s a tragic circumstance that calls into question the publics trust of those placed in these unique rolls in our children’s lives. Regardless of the outcome of this matter, it is a direct attack on our ability to trust those involved in our children’s lives. It furthermore exemplifies the need to have strong leadership in our schools. Parents have to take an active role in their children’s life and do their best to raise their children to be as prepared to deal with circumstances like this as we can. However, most, if not all, of us would never even feel that our trust could be betrayed when it comes to our children’s teachers.

    Christopher L. Wynn
    Attorney-at-Law
    770-942-8661

    • My thoughts exactly!

      • Sondra Raiford says:

        Mine also!

      • Sondra Raiford says:

        Mine also

        • Terrie Sikes says:

          The sad part is this is not the first instance that a teacher has had a relationship with a student at HHS. It seems that person was not disciplined. Then there is the instance where there is a teacher that has had two inappropriate “friendships” in which the superintendent has proof of and as of yet has not issued consequences to that person. I guess someone is not monitoring the happening of the school system as they should or maybe they are just sitting back eating cakes and biding their time until they can get out. The things that have gone on in the school system of heard county would make for good reading in a novel!

  29. Free sick nasty

  30. He should have waited until she was out of school. Our band teacher waited until my friend was out of school and they have been married for 15 years.

  31. AmberEMc says:

    The charge isn’t statutory rape. The fact that she is 18 is not the issue here. The issue is that he was a high school teacher, a disciplinarian, and slept with a highschool student.

  32. AmberEMc says:

    The charge is sexual assault by person with supervisory or disciplinary authority. Age isn’t the issue…

  33. considering that I had one of his classes and he has got me in trouble for dress code kinda grosses me out.

  34. CC hen co says:

    He was my coach I. 2001-2003 at Henry County High, he was a good guy, Does not seem like something he would have done. What a shame

  35. Well his last name is quite appreciate

  36. Jeffrey Lovelace says:

    He was in a position of authority, period. That is same regulation in the military, regarding rank.

  37. gravitt_carol@yahoo.com says:

    She is eighteen.

  38. hchsgraduate says:

    He why my teacher and track coach in high school. I feel sorry for his wife and children.

  39. That is one sick individual to pry on an 18 yr. old. What is this world coming to?

    • Equal Punishment for Sexual Crimes says:

      From what I know… He wasn’t praying on her. In fact it was the other way around. Two girls had a BET to see who could bed him first. I fully believe the young lady needs to face the consequences of her actions in this situation. Girls are ALWAYS labeled victims when in reality they can be predators and ESPECIALLY instigators.

  40. All those saying, “he shouldn’t be in jail, or charged, or convicted ” If it was your daughter, and an old dugusting, married man, with two kids, in a athoritive position, would you feel the same? I doubt it, and if you would be ok with it, you shouldn’t be parents.. btw- he was always flirtation with the girls in school, i wouldn’t be surprised if those were underage..

  41. He wasn’t praying on her nor was he pry on her, she was his prey. Except she seemed to be willing soul. He no doubt forgot his position had restrictions.

  42. I realize she was 18, but if that was your daughter you would be beyond pissed. School should be a safe and nurturing place for young adults and this man violated that sanctuary. He deserves whatever he gets.

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