TPS Responds To Abuse Allegations

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Updated: 4/29/2010 4:17 pm Published: 4/28/2010 12:06 pm

Tulsa, OK- Parents of students at Skelly Elementary School are upset over abuse allegations involving a staff member.

They're mainly concerned about the specific allegations- that an administrator molested a six year old special-needs student and possibly others.

"Wondering what's going on," said Paul Cassmire, another parent. "We didn't know anything about it until this morning"

Tulsa Police tell us a police report has been filed and an investigation launched.  TPS officials say the employee has been suspended with pay and search warrants served to see if there is evidence on a computer.

The following statement was issued today by Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools Dr. Keith Ballard:

“Tulsa Public Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of each and every one of our 42,000 students. We expect all staff members to conduct themselves in a manner that honors education and the children we serve.

"Apparently the news media knew about it before the parents knew about it and that concerns me quite a bit," said Mike Smith, a concerned parent.

While this is a Tulsa Police investigation that will be resolved with facts, it is important for the public to know that TPS will not tolerate the abuse of a single child.

The district cannot comment on specific personnel or criminal investigations. We support Tulsa Police detectives and will fully cooperate in the investigation."

FOX23 is not releasing the name of the employee at this time because no criminal charges have as yet been filed. 

We asked when the school district knew about the allegations involving the teacher.

Two weeks ago we received a tip and were told by the district "nothing was going on."

According to the district's Child Abuse Policy, which is posted online, every school employee is required to report possible abuse to the Department of Human Services.

But,- "It is not the responsibility of school personnel to prove the child has been abused or neglected."

As for DHS, when and if they actually notify police depends on how the particular child abuse report is prioritized, which, according to DHS Spokesperson Beth Scott, depends on whether a child is in "immediate danger."

According to Tulsa Police, it was an alleged victim who filed a police report and not the school or DHS.

Failure to report any type of abuse on the part of a school employee is a misdemeanor.

 For more on TPS' Child Abuse Reporting Policy:

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

midniterider3 - 4/28/2010 2:21 PM
0 Votes
the last couple cases i read about on the internet , it turns out the students made it up, and what happens, the teachers reputation is ruined, he/she is labeled a pervert, and what happens to the child that makes the allegations up? absolutely nothing ! at the least they should be charged with filing a false police report. Now if this teacher did do this, then yes fire his butt and put him behind bars where he belongs.

kindagreywolf - 4/28/2010 12:45 PM
0 Votes
I'm not saying Oklahoma doesn't have its share of criminals and perverts. Every state has there share of criminals and perverts. However, almost every month some teacher is being charged with Sexual abuse. Are we lapse in hiring teachers and don't do even the most minimal of checks, or is there something seriously wrong with our children? I can not believe in half of these cases as they happen so much. If the teacher is guilty remove him, If the child made this up, remove him/her from the system.
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