A Coronado teacher and coach accused of inappropriate behavior with a minor will return to work after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Water polo coach Randy Burgess was put on administrative leave last April after allegations surfaced.
Last week, the district decided to reinstate him after the deadline to file an official criminal complaint expired.
“I look at this opportunity to come back on Monday as a step in the right direction,” said Burgess. “There’s still a lot of unresolved issues but I’m looking forward to and hoping the transition back into the classroom has minimal effect on the students.”
A student accused Burgess of inappropriate behavior when the student was in middle school back in 2011. But Burgess, who was teaching at Coronado High has maintained the entire story was fabricated. He says he never coached or taught that student.
Burgess says he’s been dealing with anxiety and depression since the accusations surfaced. He says he has drawn strength from the support he’s received from current and former students, parents and fellow teachers.
“I certainly hope that this young man who made these allegations….if he’s having personal issues in his life, I certainly hope he has an opportunity to take care of those,” said Burgess.
Burgess says he’s more upset at the district for dragging this out for eight months.
“My concern is retaliation by the district because I challenged the fact that they wanted me to just be quiet and sit out and allow this run its course,” said Burgess.
Burgess says he’s trying to focus now on what’s ahead and getting back to teaching.
I’m happy to be back. I’m anxious, nervous in a good way. The teaching part will be the easy part,” added Burgess.
About a month ago, a judge ruled that the school district had the discretion to put him on administrative leave. Burgess is appealing that ruling because he says the state allows the district to do that only if criminal charges were filed. And that never happened.
Burgess says he knows there are a lot of teachers concerned for their own well-being because of his situation.
As for the student making these allegations, NBC 7 reached out to his attorney for comment and hasn’t heard back.