A group of Skelly Elementary parents want answers. This after their child’s assistant principal was charged with five counts involving child sex crimes.
Robert Yerton, Jr. is accused of molesting young boys in his office.
Police reports show the counselor reported the allegation to the principal in October, 2009 but the allegations did not surface until after the Tulsa Police Department launched an investigation in April.
FOX23’s Abbie Alford explains how parents are coming together to get answers and raise awareness about child abuse.
According to court records, Skelly’s principal knew about Robert Yerton’s alleged inappropriate behavior with young boys seven months ago.
Search warrant records show police were looking for an e-mail from the principal to Yerton giving him the heads up about the concerns.
Since the TPD investigation, TPS says it is doing its own investigation into the matter.
"If so many people saw this and witnessed this and reported it. What went wrong?" says Skelly parent Jessica Mills.
School District officials say they didn’t believe the suspicions were criminal yet Oklahoma law says any suspicions of child abuse must be reported to Department of Human Services.
"These are the people that are in charge of our children while they are in school they are supposed to be protected," says Mills.
However, Mills believes her daughter isn’t being protected at Skelly.
"The kids don't know who to trust and the parents don't think their kids are safe at school anymore now," says Mills.
Mills and another Skelly parent, Ruth Garcia, are forming a child abuse awareness and prevention group for anyone in the community including parents within TPS.
"We need to confront the problem to see what is wrong with this school, with this great school, and to overcome it," says Garcia.
Mills believes Skelly can be the school she trusts and was once proud of by uniting parents.
"Maybe we can make a difference to stop this in the future. Someone needs to stand up," says Mills.
Garcia says staying quiet is not worth the risk of another child potentially being harmed.
"People are very afraid a lot of parents don't want to say anything because they are afraid they are going to pick on their children," says Garcia. "I am not going to wait to be a victim so to help other parents that they have been victims I want to be their voice."
For the children who are suspected of being abused some of them don’t have a voice.
"[It’s] standing up for their children and protection of their families like we are supposed to be able to that is our right," says Mills.
According to court records, the counselor who reported the suspected abuse was given a written warning after TPD launched an investigation.
Yerton is out on $150,000 bond. He is charged with three counts of Lewd Moelstation involving boys ages six to eight and two counts of Chid Sex Abuse involving an underage boy in his home. Each count carries a $50,000 scheduled bond that would equal $250,000.
Employees with TPS say they are in the process of terminating Yerton who has been with the District since 1993.
FOX23 has tried to contact the Skelly principal but was asked to leave the property.
The meeting is scheduled for Sunday from 3pm-4:45pm at Martin Regional Library located at 2601 S. Garnett Rd.
National speaker and author on child abuse prevention and awareness, Sharon Doty, will be the guest speaker.
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