A criminal investigation is underway against three administrators at Squalicum High School for alleged improper handling of student complaints of sexual abuse. A federal lawsuit was also filed last week, alleging that the school district “engaged in a pattern of extreme and outrageous conduct”. All three administrators have been allowed to remain on the job during the investigation, frustrating many and resulting in a recent walkout by around 200 students. The administrators under investigation include Chimere Hackney, Meghan Dunham and Jeremy Louzao.
“Mandatory reporter laws exist for a simple reason: to protect children. There is never an excuse for failing to report a disclosure of child abuse,” said Darrell Cochran. “It is a betrayal of the most senseless kind, leaving a child in harm’s way and jeopardizing countless others. Failure to report child abuse is a betrayal so profound that it is, in fact, both a crime and actionable in a civil case for damages.”
Washington States’ mandatory reporting law requires anyone who is aware of abuse against minors to make a report to law enforcement. Failure to do so is a gross misdemeanor.
“There should be a zero-tolerance policy for school officials who cover up abuse and delay reporting to the proper authorities,” said Ian Bauer. “The law demands nothing less. We as a society should not tolerate it, either.”