Raising Awareness At Skelly

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Updated: 5/26/2010 12:56 pm Published: 5/25/2010 5:51 pm

Parents at Skelly Elementary are getting involved with the school and their goal is stop potential abuse.

Skelly Elementary Assistant Principal Robert Yerton is charged with five counts involving child sex crimes including three boys in alleged molestation incidents at Skelly and Disney Elementaries.

Court records show in October, 2009, the school’s counselor told the principal about her suspicions that Yerton was allegedly inappropriately touching boys.

The allegations didn’t surface until the Tulsa Police Department Child Crisis Unit launched an investigation in April. 

FOX23’s Abbie Alford explains how parents are raising awareness about the issue.

“Skelly Elementary Parents” want their voices heard. On Tuesday, they handed out bookmark flyers to parents as they picked up their children at school.

Once these parents found out their child’s assistant principal was allegedly touching young boys’ private parts in his office at school they didn’t want to stay quiet.

"It's more important to protect our kids. It really is to protect the kids then to worry about what they can do to you and fear can paralyze you and I am not going to let that happen," says Skelly Mother and member of “Skelly Elementary Parents” Jennifer Travnicek.

This mother is joining other mothers including Ruth Garcia and Jessica Mills who are taking a stand and flagging down every Skelly parent in their sight.

FOX23 is being told the PTA program at Skelly has dissolved and these moms want to bring it back.

"I think the parents should come together and talk about it," says Skelly mother Sissy Summerhill.

Another mother of three Skelly children is relieved to see “Skelly Elementary Parents”.

"This is extremely important these kids are our future," says Sarah Booher.

According to court records the principal knew about the allegations seven months ago but instead of reporting it to DHS she e-mailed Yerton about the allegations.

State law requires any suspicion of child abuse to be reported to DHS.

Tulsa Police say it is not aware of any reports referred to its department from DHS in regards to Yerton.

“Skelly Elementary Parents” say they just too complacent and they won’t let it happen again. 

"Even a moment of hesitation might have saved someone from the pain they had to go through maybe that could have prevented something," says Travnicek.

Yerton’s preliminary hearing is set for July 19th. He is out on an aggregate bond of $150,000 bond. Under Oklahoma law for all five charges his scheduled bond would be set for $200,000.

Yerton has currently been on paid administrative leave since April 27th. Tulsa Public Schools says it is in the termination process.  

TPD’s Child Crisis detectives say they are continuing to interview potential witnesses and victims. Right now they say about 30 to 40 people including children and adults have been interviewed. Yerton is accused of molesting a 6-year-old, 7-year-old and 8-year-old at Skelly or Disney and an underage boy from when he was 11-years-old to 17-years-old at his home.

If you have any information about these crimes call TPD's Child Crisis Unit at (918) 669-6504. You can remain anonymous.

The group has also created a Faceboook page called “Skelly Elementary Parents” you can also e-mail the group at skellyparent@yahoo.com.

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