Middle School
A substitute middle school teacher in Fairfield, Ohio, was arrested for allegedly "masturbating in a classroom while students were present." In this photo, pupils wait for the start of the first written test in philosophy a school in Paris, June 15, 2017. Getty Images/ Martin Bureau

A substitute middle school teacher in Fairfield, Ohio, was arrested Tuesday for allegedly "masturbating in a classroom while students were present."

According to the Fairfield Police Department, Tracey J. Abraham, 41, who has served as a substitute teacher in Fairfield since 2012, has been charged with public indecency, following an alleged incident that took place Tuesday at Creekside Middle School.

“Students reported suspicious behavior by the teacher that was taking place behind his desk. Once the administration at Creekside Middle School was made aware of this behavior, the school resource officer immediately removed the substitute teacher from the classroom and building,” Fairfield City School District wrote on its Facebook page in an extensive statement regarding the incident.

The post further mentioned that school district had personally been in touch with “parents/guardians of every student who was in this substitute teacher’s classroom” and determined that Abraham did not have any inappropriate interactions with any of his students except for that sole incident of indecency.

“At this time, the school district is not aware of the substitute teacher having physical contact with any of our students. In addition, we are not aware of any students being exposed to any sort of nudity,” the district wrote.

While Abraham was not technically fired, the school district made it clear that he will no longer be employed to serve as a substitute teacher in any of the institutions under it. “We want to assure you that this individual will not be returning to our schools. The school district will be reporting this incident to the Ohio Department of Education. Providing a safe, secure and positive learning environment for our students and staff has always been and will continue to be our most important priority,” the district said.

Abraham is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 15, after being arraigned by Fairfield Municipal Court Tuesday. He was also ordered to stay far away from schools and other places where children under the age of 18 might be present.

Chris Brown, Superintendent of Butler County Educational Service Center – the organization that provided Fairfield school district with substitute teachers – said Abraham, who holds a short-term teaching license and a bachelor's degree, which was enough to qualify him as a substitute teacher, was shortlisted and given placement in the school only after he passed a background check that all applicants must go through.

"They're like subcontractors," Brown said, Cincinnati reported. "We have over 950 substitutes. Like in any other profession, people make bad decisions."

He added that Abraham had no record of committing such offences in the time that he had served as a substitute teacher in the past. Following the latest accusation against him, Abraham’s name was now struck off the list of potential candidates who can serve as substitute teacher.

The Ohio Department of Education will conduct a separate investigation to determine whether Abraham can retain his teaching license. In the meanwhile, Educational Service Center is waiting for more on the investigation from police.