Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
Before yesterday, I had never heard the name of Randy Sehl.
I received my first message a little after 8 AM, asking for my opinion of Mr. Sehl. Since I had no idea who he was, I decided to google and immediately found the article in the paper. According to the Toledo Blade, Mr Sehl is ‘suspended with pay’ pending an investigation from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Sehl currently works as head of security for Washington Local Schools, since 2012. He was also suspended as a Volunteer Sheriff Deputy from Lucas County. The investigation started after a Bedford student was caught with 25 to 30 tests, answer keys, and the class work of other students.. and numerous teachers which are all listed on the report. Here is a link to the Toledo Blade’s story.
The news story was so unusual, that I read it a couple of times to comprehend the magnitude of what was being alleged. It was so layered with confusing elements, that it wasn’t making sense.
I had way more questions than answers, and my inbox was starting to be filled with people alleging that there might be a history with Mr. Sehl and Bedford students.
-How and why did he have such access to a school he no longer worked for?
-Why would he be working out with an underage student so late at night?
-Why did he work out at Bedford High School instead of Whitmer, where he is employed?
I decided to use Facebook to investigate a little more, and posted the following: “Looking for any and all Bedford alums to message me about something that might of happened during the years of 1987 thru 2000. I’m sorry for the vagueness of the post.”
Instantly, I was flooded with Bedford graduates looking to help, having no idea what I was about to ask. I started every conversation the same way, “Do you know Randy Sehl? If so, what are your thoughts about him?”
Although the ages of the responders were various, with graduating years ranging from 1989 to 2000, it did not take too long to see a running theme in their commentary.
Numerous people alleged to me, most asking that their name remain undisclosed, the following; While Randy Sehl was a Monroe County Sheriff Deputy, between the years of 1989 through 2000– Mr. Sehl would fraternize with Bedford high School male athletes after school hours. Mr. Sehl allegedly would “hang out” and “party” with students, show up to house parties, most accusers were stating he would buy underage people beer, acting as “a supplier”. He was a law enforcement officer who ‘loved using his “cop persona” to get people to think he was cool’.
Needless to say, I was floored by the allegations, shocked at the volume and range of years. There were specifics given, of locations, dates and times.
I was just puzzled on how something so wrong, could continue for so long? But then again, what underage kid that goes to house parties, would tell on a cop who was providing beer?
Several hours later, I decided to share the Toledo Blade’s article about the investigation, and publicly asked for people to message me their opinion of Mr. Sehl.
Once again, I was flooded with people offering their perspective on the man being investigated. Initially, the messengers shared similar stories as the ones I had received earlier.
Then as the night progressed, the messages, and their tone changed. Words like “upstanding”, “mentor” and “respected” were now being used to describe Randy Sehl, with one commenter even threatening to “throat punch” me for simply asking questions about the man’s character.
Two very different pictures were painted of the same person, a man that is currently being investigated for allegedly helping Bedford high schools students cheat. A man who’s job is the safety of 7,000 children that attend Washington Local Schools. An investigation centered around video evidence allegedly showing Mr. Sehl at the school, going in and out of various classrooms, late at night, on multiple occasions.
Then I stumbled upon Mr. Sehl’s public Instagram and twitter accounts, and saw the two very different worlds; one showing a proud school law enforcement officer, featuring numerous pictures of pep assemblies, awards, Mr. Sehl as a football referee, and levy campaign signs. The other showing a different side– pictures including weird selfies, video clips of Mr. Sehl singing in a band, and numerous photographs of a young man, working out at Bedford and Whitmer’s gym.
So many more questions come to mind after taking a peek at his very public social media life.
If this was a female teacher seen with a male student, late at night, hitting the gym, photographs of them in a car together, headed to get a bite to eat, would we view this case differently?
If he was a female teacher, would this contact be allowed?
If you have any information regarding this ongoing investigation please contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office via email at email@example.com
If you have any information about Randy Sehl and/or regarding this ongoing investigation you are being asked to email the Superintendent of Washington Local Schools (firstname.lastname@example.org)