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School Officials Knew About Sexual Abuse, Did Nothing, Parents sue school distri

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    Retired Teacher: School Officials Knew About Sexual Abuse, Did Nothing Carol Buchanan tried to come forward in the 1990s, but was punished for it By Cheryl
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 30, 2013
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      Retired Teacher: School Officials Knew About Sexual Abuse, Did Nothing

      Carol Buchanan tried to come forward in the 1990s, but was punished for it

      By Cheryl Hurd   Friday, Mar 29, 2013 
      Carol Buchanan is a retired teacher who taught in the Moraga School District.

      Now she may become best known as a whistleblower in the sexual abuse case involving now University of California at Berkeley swim coach, Kristen Cunnane.

      “Why didn’t somebody listen? What else could I have done?" Buchanan asked.  “I do feel guilty in hindsight.  If this happened today, there would be no problem.  I would immediately go to (Child Protective Services).”

      Buchannan said in the 1990s, students told her that a popular science teacher, Dan Witters, was sexually abusing them, and she complained to administrators

      She says the district wasn’t responding to her complaints and, after a 25-year career with the  district, she wasn’t fired -- but they strongly suggested that she take a leave of absence.

      She did.

      Buchanan says she felt vindicated when Cunnane publicly came forward last year. She was a middle school student decades ago, and is now a 30-year-old swim coach at UC Berkeley.... 

      Parents sue Grain Valley School District after teacher’s abuse
      March 29, 2013, by Michelle Pekarsky

      GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. —  Attorneys for the parents of a girl allegedly abused by a teacher in the Grain Valley School District filed a lawsuit against the district principal, superintendent, and other school officials, alleging they did not take appropriate action against Matthew Nelson.

      Nelson, formerly a teacher at Prairie Branch Elementary School, was arrested in January 2012 and later pleaded guilty to 10 counts of child molestation, five counts of statutory sodomy and one count of attempted child molestation for incidences dating back to August 2008. The crimes involved children under 14 years of age, some under the age of 12.

      The lawsuit states the Grain Valley superintendent and assistant superintendent, along with the former and current principal of Prairie Branch Elementary failed to take action against Nelson even though they had knowledge of prior inappropriate contact by Nelson against at least one other student.

      In a letter sent home to parents in February 2012, district superintendent Dr. Roy Moss said that someone first filed an anonymous report on teacher Matthew Nelson in 2008, and that the district investigated the allegations with the limited information that they had at the time....
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