Who was William Terry? Iowa school employee dies by suicide after sexual assault allegation
AMES, IOWA: Barely a month after being accused of sexually exploiting a student, the associate principal at an Iowa high school has killed himself by suicide. William Terry, 47, who joined Marshalltown High School as an associate principal last year, fatally shot himself inside his home in Ames on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Police discovered Terry's body in his basement when they came to execute an arrest warrant against him.
Terry happens to be the second employee in Marshalltown Community School District who died by suicide over allegations of sexual assault. Less than a month ago, on July 8, 2021, Marshalltown Middle School teacher Adam Edgington also took his own life, by shooting himself inside his car. The 42-year-old teacher was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old school student. He reportedly groped and kissed the teenager multiple times throughout the last school year.
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Who was William Terry?
On June 2, 2020, Marshalltown High School posted an official update about Terry's appointment as the associate principal. On their Facebook page, they wrote, "Welcome new associate principal, William Terry" along with Terry's own statement — “Hello Bobcat family. I am honored and excited to be your new Associate Principal at MHS. I look forward to meeting all of the students, teachers, families and community members. I am here to do everything I can to encourage and support your educational journey towards success. Go Bobcats!"
Terry was recently accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship and sexually exploiting a former student of the high school. Not much details about the survivor have been revealed but the allegations against Terry and a few other teachers stirred the community. The accusations against Terry was formally reported to police in a complaint on July 6, 2021.
The local police were on their way to arrest Terry as a suspect when he killed himself, in a manner similar to Edgington. Besides Terry and Edgington, another former teacher of Marshalltown High School was also named in sexual exploitation complaints. Mark Esquivel, who worked as a gym teacher in the school in the past, was arrested on June 30 for allegedly trying to solicit sex from a 17-year-old. The 26-year-old teacher was charged with sexual exploitation.
Meanwhile, the series of allegations against male teachers in the school district has raised an alarm in the community. Dr Theron Schutte, the superintendent of Marshalltown Community School District, has promised a district-wide review of the hiring and selection process of educators. "The district will also be providing additional training on staff ethics and responsibilities, and is reviewing the curriculum to ensure all students are informed about reporting – and empowered to seek help – if a concerning situation arises," Schutte stated.