When the Tahoma High School boys basketball coach stepped outside
his apartment with a star player on the girls basketball team, he didn't
know an investigator for the district was lurking nearby with a video
Randy Hammack, 34, kissed and hugged the senior, then traced "I love
you" on her car windshield before she drove off.
The district fired Hammack after the 1994 incident and, as required, notified
the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) about his unprofessional
conduct. It looked as if Hammack's successful coaching and teaching career
But the OSPI, which licenses teachers and disciplines them for misconduct,
took no action against Hammack. Instead, the agency dismissed the complaint
without conducting an interview or offering an explanation.
Hammack went on to teach and coach boys basketball at Bothell High School
and teach in the Kent School District. Earlier this year, after being
questioned by reporters about Hammack's employment, the district fired
him for concealing his past on his teaching application.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Terry Bergeson offers no explanation
for the OSPI's handling of Hammack's case. But research shows that her
office's handling of Hammack is not unusual.
In a review of 10 years of OSPI records on sexual-misconduct complaints
against teachers who coach, The Seattle Times found that:
• The agency closed cases without conducting a single interview, leaving
accused coaches and teachers with valid teaching certificates. Even when
the OSPI did make inquiries, it dismissed without explanation 46 cases
of sexual misconduct by coaches. These represent 42 percent of all such
cases, which makes it difficult to determine whether the agency's actions