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Teachers, administrators charged in school sex scandal
2012-10-05 09:43:34 | (0 Comments)
(AP) — Three teachers at Triton Regional High School have been charged with having sexual relations with female students last year and the principal and a vice principal have been accused of covering up the allegations, said authorities.
Prosecutors say, a cover-up was put in motion that ultimately unraveled Thursday when DePaul, an assistant principal and three teachers were charged with offenses ranging from child endangerment to sexual assault and official misconduct.
Each of the five adults has been suspended from the school in the Philadelphia suburb of Runnemede, and each could face at least five years in prison if convicted.
The teachers, all men in their late 20s or early 30s, are accused of striking up relationships with female students during the 2011-2012 school year.
Sexual relationships between teachers and students are not unheard of.
Camden County prosecutor Warren Faulk noted that the media seems particularly fixated on the female teacher-male student cases that are reported around the country each year.
However, what distinguished the allegations at Triton High was the inaction by administrators who ignored policies and safeguards that were in place and instead allowed a culture "where teachers thought they could get away with improper relationships with their students," said Faulk.
Faulk said rape charges could not be filed because the sex acts were consensual and the girls were 17 or 18 at the time — old enough to consent under state law.
Prosecutors say the principal met with the student, who told her she'd been to one of the teacher's homes with a girl, who was involved with him and had seen the explicit text messages.
Authorities say DePaul asked her to write an account of what she had heard and that Assistant Principal Jernee Kollock stayed with the student to help her write the statement, even helping her with her grammar — but also making it seem less serious.
Around the same time, Faulk said, DePaul learned one of the teachers had driven an alleged victim and another student to Ocean City in violation of district policy. But, he said, the teacher was merely reprimanded.
Faulk said neither administrator contacted authorities. Both were charged with official misconduct.
All five are due in court October 11.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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