Houston High choir teacher accused of kissing, touching students

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — The choir teacher at Houston High School was suspended without pay after allegedly kissing, touching and making inappropriate comments to students.

The allegations against Dr. William Rayburn were revealed in a memo sent to Rayburn from Germantown Schools Superintendent Jason Manuel dated April 11.

Manuel called the conduct "unbecoming to a member of the teaching position" and said complaints had come from parents and students.

Rayburn was barred from the Houston High School campus or any events, until further notice. He is still listed on the district website.

After WREG began asking questions last week, the Germantown Municipal School District confirmed that a teacher had been suspended over inappropriate conduct, but refused to identify the teacher or provide details of the allegations.

Rayburn, who was named the 2018 Teacher of the Year by the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts, said he was waiting to hear from his lawyer when asked for a response to the allegations.

WREG has also learned Rayburn was suspended for three days in October 2017.

One of the reasons the district cited was emails Rayburn allegedly sent to parents that were critical of school administrators. The district said this violated policy.

Germantown Police said Thursday they have no open criminal investigation on Rayburn.

Friday, one day after WREG reported on Rayburn's suspension, Houston High Principal Kyle Cherry abruptly resigned. The district said Cherry cited job pressures as the reason for his resignation, but there was no mention of that in a handwritten resignation letter WREG obtained.

“I think that the timing is definitely interesting," said a Houston High School parent.

Other documents show Cherry was previously suspended for a single day in April 2016 for how he communicated with the district about an incident involving a student. The district called his conduct "unprofessional."

He was also reprimanded in August 2017 for allegedly going to a female staffer's home uninvited in July, sparking a police investigation.