Local teacher faces felony aggravated DUI charge


Reporter - Kendall Downing

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ill. - A local physical education teacher is on paid administrative leave because of a weekend DUI arrest.

The Franklin County State's Attorney filed a charge of felony aggravated DUI against Gary Gischer Junior, 44, on Monday.

Gischer teaches at Christopher High School in Franklin County. He bonded out of jail on Tuesday.

Court records show this isn't Gischer's first time facing a DUI charge. It's his third.

Ewing, Illinois police pulled over Gary Gischer this past weekend. Traffic citations show the high school teacher was speeding and driving in the wrong lane.

The arresting office wrote in a report, "Subject had glossy eyes, slurred speech, and impaired movement. When asked, he admitted to have drank beer."

Christopher Unit School District Superintendent Richard Towers issued a statement to Local 6 on Thursday.

"We were disappointed to learn that one of our high school physical education teachers, Gary Gischer, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. In accordance with our policy, we have placed Mr. Gischer on paid administrative leave pending further action by the board of education at its meeting on Monday night. Because this involves an ongoing criminal investigation, I cannot comment further."

This isn't Gischer's first DUI charge. In 2007, he resigned as head basketball coach and eventually entered a guilty plea to DUI in 2010 in Franklin County.

In 2005, he pleaded guilty to a DUI in Williamson County.

We tried to talk to Gischer outside his Benton, Illinois home. He would not talk to Local 6 or tell us whether he had an attorney.

"I understand that you're not perfect as a person, and you make mistakes," said Richard Logsdon, a parent.

Logsdon has a son at the high school. He said teachers may slip up, but they should set an example.

Gischer will go before a judge on October 23.

Records from the Franklin County Jail showed possession of a controlled substance charges, but those official charges were not in Gischer's file when we checked on Thursday.

Franklin County State's Attorney Evan Owens said the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be filed.