St. Thomas More School fires band faculty after alleged 'inappropriate behavior'

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A band instructor and his assistant have been fired from St. Thomas More School in Kansas City after both faced allegations of inappropriate behavior.

Counselors will be on hand all day Friday at the private Catholic School to help students cope with the removal of an instructor who had been on staff for 14 years.

The school principal sent a letter home to parents on Thursday evening informing them that band instructor Gregg Briggs and his assistant, 53-year-old Tod Barnard, had been terminated.

About two weeks ago, an internal review board began investigating Briggs after both men were suspected of inappropriate behavior in separate incidents occurring in early March.

Briggs was investigated by the Independence Police Department for suspicious conduct.  Barnard was accused of touching the breasts of an 11-year-old student.

On March 14, the Jackson County prosecutor charged Barnard with two counts of child molestation and two counts of assault.

Briggs was not charged criminally, but according to the review board, the termination recommendation is based on Briggs' admitted violation of diocesan standards of behavior. Bishop Robert Finn reviewed the recommendation and determined it should be followed.

The band program will continue at St. Thomas More; they have a concert scheduled in May.

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