Four staffers at Elizabeth Middle School in Elbert County remain on administrative leave as the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office looks into their actions last spring.
Students brought allegations forward that the district says are required to be reported under Colorado law.
That law requires school staff who have reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child has been subjected to abuse or neglect must report to law enforcement, the county department, or the child abuse hotline system.
A spokesperson for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office confirmed that the case was referred to that office by the Elizabeth Police Department and a criminal investigator has been assigned after the department determined they had a conflict of interest, but was unable to provide additional detail.
Parents are wondering what the investigation involves and the district’s Superintendent Dan Snowberger put out an email to families saying in part, “I regret that many jump to conclusions and have labeled individuals involved prior to confirmation of wrongdoing.”
He went on to write, “we are far from perfect, and employees do make mistakes. We will hold individuals accountable but will also ensure that a full, detailed investigation and due process exist for all involved.”
The district declined to answer questions about what the investigation did not involve. The district did not say what employees were on administrative leave, but did say that an assistant principal at the high school had moved over to the role of principal at the middle school as well as a retired athletic director from Colorado Springs District 11 who would be supporting the athletic program.
“Main thing is to make sure that you don’t listen to rumors. Unfortunately, we can’t put out a lot of facts right now because there’s an investigation so really what we ask everybody is to be patient and wait for the process to take its course,” said district spokesperson Jason Hackett. “It’s a matter of the mandatory reporting law. And what happened from the time that the students made that report. until the district administration heard about it.”
In his email to parents, the superintendent said there will be a meeting with families Wednesday 5:30-7:00.
“While I may be limited on the content I can share regarding the current situation, I do feel it is important for me to hear from parents, provide any answers that I can, and hopefully build trust as we progress through this challenging situation,” said the superintendent in his email to parents.
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