“Those are related to personnel matter and by federal law, I couldn’t discuss it even if I wanted to,” said Durant board member Dan England.
This was echoed by Durant superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth and members of the board.
“Our role is, as usually, we are investigating it, and no, I can’t make any comments about it,” said board member Tammy Cross. “Any actions that are taken, this is just something that will have to be handled legally. At this point, I’m not going to make any comments at all. You’ll have to ask our attorneys.”
Board members could not reveal if the initial complaint that led to an investigation more than a year ago, was being re-evaluated, but another issue was Bennett’s complaints of retaliation at Monday’s meeting, saying, “Nothing has been done to protect my daughter from the daily emotional, physiological stress and psychological manipulation that educated teachers are well-versed if they choose to enact ... She suffers daily with negative reactions and comments of teachers and fellow peers having to take sides.”
England said, “As far as kids reacting to other kids, we have policies that relate to the treatment of others, I’d just have to refer those to the administration, Dr. Simeroth, one of the assistant superintendents or the high school principal.”
Section 4100 of the manual of district policy regarding reporting of sexual harassment reads: 11) It is the School District’s position that any person filing or complaining of sexual harassment or participating in any way in any investigation of a sexual harassment claim under this policy shall not be subjected to any form of reprisal, retaliation, intimidation or harassment. The School District will discipline or take appropriate action against any student, employee, agent or representative of the School District who is determined to have engaged in such retaliatory behavior.
“My understanding is that it is being looked into,” said Board President Rob Piearcy about the retaliation complaints. “I feel the administration is handling it adequately, following the process. That’s really all I can say.”
Simeroth could not discuss the investigation into retaliation, but said, “Any complaints by anybody are looked into, because we’re concerned about the safety of our kids. Any mistreatment by any member of the staff would result in disciplinary action.”
Note: Bart Granger, one of five members of the Durant Board of Education, was not interviewed by the Democrat because he was not present at Monday’s board meeting.