|PEVS board, administration issue statement|
|Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:29 PM|
On Thursday, May 15, 2014, the Progress received the following statement from Paulding Exempted Village School superintendent William Hanak. The statement was issued in connection with recent allegations by two former students – Barry Vance and Dave Kinkade – that they had been molested by a middle school teacher more than 30 years ago.
The teacher, Don Schnepp, died in 2004. Vance and Kinkade are asking that a memorial rock honoring Schnepp be permanently removed from school property.
According to the statement:
“The Board and current administration want to make clear to our school community and members of the public that any reports by students or staff of present harassment or alleged abuse are taken seriously and are investigated in accordance with law and Board policy.
"School officials absolutely do not ignore such matters. It is important to understand that the allegations being made by Mr. Vance and concern over events that occurred decades ago in which the current Board, school officials and staff had no involvement and in which they have no knowledge of.
"The District is not able to conduct a meaningful investigation of the truth or falsity of the allegations, as the persons who supposedly had knowledge are no longer employed by the District, and the alleged perpetrator is deceased and cannot be questioned or speak in his own defense.
"The complaining parties graduated many years ago, so there is no action the Board could take now that could alter their educational experience.
"The Board is at a loss to understand why this matter is being raised with the Board at all, rather than with law enforcement.
"Again, we want to assure our school community and the public that the safety and best interests of our students are of paramount importance to us and we would never knowingly fail to address a complaint of current harassment or abuse in the school setting.”
Kinkade is scheduled to address the school board at its next meeting May 20.
Should Paulding Exempted Village Schools permanently remove a memorial rock from school grounds, as requested by two individuals who allegedly were sexually abused by a former teacher? Answer our online poll - go to "Polls" on our home page and cast your vote.