Former South teacher fails to appear in court after arrest on criminal trespass, disorderly conduct charges

photo by: Nick Krug

South Middle School students hang out on the patio outside the school after early release on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.

Chris Cobb, the former South Middle School teacher who was arrested last month after a reported outburst at the school, has missed his first appearance in court.

Cobb, 57, did not show up Tuesday morning for his arraignment hearing at Lawrence’s Municipal Court.

His legal troubles stem from an incident on March 29, when Cobb turned up at his former school unannounced and allegedly engaged in an outburst. Police were called to the scene and eventually arrested Cobb on misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing, interference with duties of a police officer and disorderly conduct.

Cobb, who taught sixth-grade social studies at South, resigned from his job in fall 2016 following an investigation into alleged racist comments he had made in class. He has since denied all wrongdoing while remaining largely silent about the specific allegations against him, and the school district has never released details about the incident.

After his alleged outburst last month, police issued Cobb a criminal-trespass warning for the entire school district, banning him from all district properties. The district has also hired a private security firm, posted at South, for the remainder of the spring semester, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said.

Aside from his March arrest, Cobb has no criminal record in Douglas County. Because he missed his court date Tuesday, Cobb will likely be issued a bench warrant in the next few days, according to the Municipal Court clerk’s office.