R-VI investigates alleged teacher/student abuse
The Community R-VI School District was forced last week to publicly defend a 5th grade teacher who recently faced abuse allegations made by one of their students.
Since the investigation, a student’s parent shared information with a television station in Columbia.
The allegations of verbal abuse allegedly took place some time during the past two months.
According to a letter signed by Superintendent Cheryl Mack and Elementary Principal Natalie Gibson, the district investigated the incident. Since the issue is a personnel matter, the district cannot comment on the specific incident in question.
The letter goes on to say the investigation showed many of the allegations proved to be false according to witnesses interviewed. Some of those interviewed were other students.
The letter also says the teacher in question is “an experienced teacher as reflected in the students’ test scores and is providing the children with a quality education.”
Superintendent Mack said a second adult is being added to the teacher’s classroom at all times to provide documentation throughout the remainder of the school year.
“At this point we are protecting our students; we put a second adult in the classroom” Mack added. “…This helps us document everything but also helps protect our staff members against allegations that may or may not be true…We’re just trying to walk a line protecting everybody involved.”
The letter to 5th grade parents says “we have developed a plan that we feel will support both our staff and students alike. We will not revisit these issues again since we have found a resolution and those that continue to pursue these are exposing themselves to possible litigation.”
The letter, which was drafted with the advice of attorney Tom Mickes of Mickes Goldman O’Toole, LLC, offers options for parents not trusting the district’s resolution process in this case.
It says “if you are not happy with this resolution process, there are other options for your family.”
“These include home schooling or requesting a residency waiver or paying tuition in another district.”
The district had no further comments at press time since the matter was investigated internally, and according to them, resolved.
A large turnout is expected for the Community R-VI Board Meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16 in the school’s library.
Depending on how many people attend, the meeting might move inside the cafeteria at the district.