Two WFISD Principals Arrested for Failing to Report Possible Sexual Abuse
Two WFISD principals were taken into custody for failing to notify police and Child Protective Services of possible sexual abuse at their respective schools.
Crockett Elementary principal Kory Dorman was arrested last week and charged with the misdemeanor of failing to report sexual abuse of a student within 48 hours. According to the arrest affidavit, Dorman was notified by three grandparents that their 7-year-old grandson had been sexually abused by another first-grader in the school bathroom in December. Dorman admitted that she delegated the investigation of the complaint to a school counselor, but didn't personally report it to CPS or Wichita Falls police, which is a violation of Texas state law. The law states that any professional with responsibility to report possible abuse must do so within 48 hours and cannot delegate the task to another party.
On Monday, Kate Haynes Academy principal Cindy Underwood was arrested and charged with failing to report an incident that took place last October. Underwood's arrest affidavit states that she was notified by a teacher on October 25th that images of three 6-year-old male students engaging in sexual acts in the classroom was discovered on a student assigned iPad. The affidavit alleges that Underwood notified the parents, but CPS only found out about it after one of the parents reported the situation a week later.
WFISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt released the following statement:
The safety and security of the students in Wichita Falls ISD are our top priorities. The staff and administrators in WFISD entered into the education field because of their love for children and their desire to do what's right by them. They have dedicated their lives to the profession and work tirelessly to ensure that students are taken care of, not only at school, but at home as well. Every day our staff is asked to make judgment calls based on the information they receive, and each school year there are numerous CPS reports made by teachers and administrators in the name of student safety and security. Documentation from Child Protective Services states, 'while it would be ideal to have a clear-cut guide that would determine whether any given situation constitutes abuse or neglect, there are many factors that determine whether a situation warrants an investigation.' While I won't comment on whether or not the right judgment call was made, I do know the character of both administrators in question, and I am confident that neither of these administrators would deliberately hurt a child.
In light of these recent allegations, please know that WFISD will be reviewing its protocol and training for reporting suspected abuse. However, please know that I continue to have the utmost confidence in our district staff and administrators, and I hope that you will continue to have confidence in us as well. The district will continue its internal investigation and will cooperate with Wichita Falls PD as they continue to investigate the allegations. Please work with us as we continue do what's best for children both at school and at home.
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