Many Upper Perkiomen High School students and community members are rallying behind health teacher and baseball coach Frank R. Mercon, of Upper Hanover, who was charged with failure to report child abuse after a student allegedly reported a sexual assault to him.
Over 1,300 people have "liked" a "We Love Mr. Mercon" (WLM) Facebook page to post photos and stories of Mercon, and send him well wishes after his arraignment yesterday.
"We support him because of all the things he has done right," one WLM fan said. "Not turn our backs for the one thing he did wrong. We are all behind you Mercon."
The page, which has been up for less than a day, refers to Mercon repeatedly as "one of the best teachers at Upper Perk," citing his influence on the careers, health, and relationships of his students.
WLM fans mentioned famed "Godiva/Hershey's chocolate speech regarding sex and love," and a speech he gave students about drugs and alcohol.
One fan of the page said that Mercon helped him through an addiction as a student, and he was planning on going in to see Mercon because he has been having fears of relapse.
Photos on the page include Mercon with students at graduations, chaperoning high school dances, and coaching baseball.
There is also an air of civility on the page, with one fan posting, "I know Mr. Mercon was well loved by all students and he would want all of you to remain strong, supportive, understanding and united while maintaining respect for yourselves and all of those involved."
On the page, fans are planning to sell a t-shirt for $10 that will say "MERCON CHANGED MY LIFE" on the front, with proceeds going to the Mercon family.
Fans of the page are also planning to attend Mercon's Oct. 19 preliminary hearing at the Montgomery County Court House.
"I can't wait to see the entire Upper Perk student body show up at this," one WLM fan said. "Heck, we might as well all make signs and start chanting Mercon's name"
Mercon is currently out on $10,000 bail, and has not faced any disciplinary action with Upper Perkiomen High School because the case is still in an allegation stage, according to 6ABC.
Upper Perkiomen School District Superindendent released a statement on the district's website, noting that the safety of students is the school's top priority.