|PEVS board hears from Kinkade, releases statement|
|Wednesday, May 21, 2014 8:43 AM|
By JOE SHOUSE • Progress Staff Writer
PAULDING – Before a packed house on Tuesday night, the Paulding Exempted School Board heard from a second alleged victim of former teacher Don Schnepp. Defiance businessman, David Kinkade, a 1985 Paulding graduate, faced the board and in the two minutes allotted him, gave a somber statement concerning how he, too, was sexually molested by Schnepp, along with his disappointment in the actions of the school board.
Kinkade joins Barry Vance, who faced the board last month with similar accusations of molestation. Both Vance and Kinkade are requesting the memorial rock be destroyed and no other memorials bearing Don Schnepp’s name be erected on school property.
Schnepp died in 2004 after committing suicide. In March, the board was presented $280,585.61 from the estate of Schnepp’s sister, Bev Saylor, to the middle school in memory of Schnepp.
The “rock” has been removed and according to superintendent Bill Hanak, it is in a safe place. Although the rock is removed, Vance and Kinkade want to see it destroyed.
Following Kinkade’s speech, he thanked the board for their time and he and his wife left the meeting.
In speaking to the board Kinkade said:
“I’m David Kinkade, graduated in 1985. I’m also one of the students that was sexually molested by Mr. Schnepp my eighth grade and freshman year in school.
“I do not blame anybody in this administration or this board for what happened to me in the past. However, I am not happy with the way everyone acted in this administration that has deflected all these allegations. You wanted more than one student to come forward so I did my part and I’ve come forward.
“All I’ve seen are deflections and denials in any interview, in any newspaper. You announce that you will destroy the rock honoring Mr. Schnepp and not do any future memorials. I’m not going away on this matter and I won’t rest until I get that. I have already made steps to take this national if need be.
“And I just don’t want this ignored. By not having and making a public statement you’re saying it’s okay to honor a pedophile instead of previous students that have children in school today. And it’s a slap in the face every time they walk by that rock. Now, I know it’s gone. But to say you moved it for safe keeping; that was very hurtful. That’s about all I have to say. Thank you for your time.”
Kinkade presented the board with a petition with 579 signatures, calling for the memorial rock’s removal.
Following Kinkade, the board heard from former junior high school secretary Delores Whirrett, who spoke in support of Schnepp.
Vance, who was present for the meeting, left in the midst of Whirrett’s speech while she praised Schnepp for his integrity and how he could not have done what he is accused of.
After Kinkade and Whirrett spoke, school board president Mark Manz read a prepared statement on behalf of the school board:
“The board has done what it can to investigate the allegations being made, hampered by the passage of time and the fact that school staff, administration and board have completely changed since the time of the alleged events. We are trying to be fair to both sides, but can reach no conclusion as to the truth or falsity of the allegations being made.
“We do not feel there is more that we can do and we believe we have heard what there is to hear about this particular matter; we do not need to have the allegations repeated more times.
“We have come to the consensus that it would be in the best interest of the students, staff, community and school district to lay the matter to rest. To that end, the rock will be removed indefinitely and no further memorial be placed in the name of Don Schnepp on school grounds.
“Of course, PEVS will continue to abide by the policies the board has had in place on student supervision and welfare and will continue to look into any complaints involving current students or staff of the district.”