Camdenton R-III disputes claims of wrongdoing

Staff Report
Lake Sun Leader

In a statement issued on Friday in response to the filing of a lawsuit against the Camdenton School district by a teacher, the president of the Camdenton School Board says the district's policy is not to comment on pending litigation.

School Board President Chris McElyea said under district policy and Missouri law, the district cannot provide specific information about confidential student and/or personnel information, or information related to confidential investigations.

"However, because of the public interest in this story, I am providing as much information in response to your questions as the law and district policy will allow. The District’s administrators did conduct an initial investigation into the allegations of abuse made against the janitor, hotlined children’s division, and then turned the investigation over to law enforcement," McElyea said. "The janitor was also terminated. The District also engaged an independent third party investigator to conduct an investigation into all allegations, including allegations against administrators in the District. Based on that independent investigation, the District disputes the claims of wrongdoing that Mr. Richey is making in his lawsuit."

Because the investigation involves a personnel matter, relates to student records, and relates to a confidential investigation under Board policy AC, it is a closed record under the Missouri Sunshine Law, he said.

The suit McElyea referred to was filed Aug. 19 in Camden County Circuit Court by Kirk Richey. The suit alleges the district failed to respond to complaints about a custodian exposing himself to students. The suit also alleges that after Richey filed a complaint under the district's sexual harassment policy, he was subjected to a hostile work environment, retaliation and discrimination.

The incidents involving the allegations against the custodian took place in September and December of 2018 and March of 2019.

The custodian was terminated from the district and was charged in Camden County in 2019.