Camdenton Board of Education releases new statement, denying knowledge of alleged prior sexual harassment by custodian
Following an executive session on Wednesday evening, the Camdenton R-III Board of Education has issued a statement in response to the two most recent lawsuits filed against the district.
"Dear Camdenton R-III Community:
The District is aware of litigation related to a former custodian in the District. It is also aware that there is a serious concern within the community about this litigation and the allegations that have been made. It is important to remember though that allegations in a lawsuit are not facts.
The District takes all reports of alleged misconduct seriously, and the safety and well-being of our students is and always will be our utmost focus and consideration. Upon learning of the allegations the District took appropriate actions by making hotline calls to Children’s Division and contacting law enforcement. The custodian was immediately terminated and not allowed on District property. The District also investigated the matters. When the District received an additional report of an alleged incident, that incident was also reported to Children’s Division via a hotline call, reported to law enforcement, and investigated by the District. Additionally, when employees bring a complaint, or grievance, the District investigates those matters. In the lawsuit brought by a District employee, the District previously investigated those matters and addressed the issues with that employee.
There is little that the District can say with respect to pending litigation. However, the District adamantly denies that it had knowledge of alleged prior sexual harassment by the former custodian. It denies the allegations and inferences raised in the lawsuits that have been filed related to the former employee, including those made in Mr. Richey’s lawsuit, and the District will defend and address misleading or false allegations. While the contents of the District investigations are confidential, due to the confidentiality of student records and the confidentiality required under our Board policies, the District had a third-party investigator conduct investigations and the District contacted the appropriate authorities when matters were reported.
We strive every day to provide a safe learning environment for our students and patrons, and we understand the community’s concerns related to these lawsuits. These allegations have already been investigated by the District, and the District took the required steps upon learning of the allegations. The District will continue to provide a safe learning environment for students. We ask for the community’s patience as the litigation process proceeds and the District has the opportunity to address false or misleading allegations.
Sincerely, Camdenton R-III School District, Board of Education"