In follow-up to my message on March 30, 2021, regarding harassment and bullying in our schools at Liberty-Benton, there continues to be misinformation circulating in the community about a matter that has been under internal investigation for the last few weeks involving reports and allegations of student misconduct, including sexual harassment, in our District.
Because there are minors involved in the particular matter that is under ongoing internal investigation, we as a District are limited in the information we can and should provide to individuals outside our school community. Nevertheless, we as a community of adults around these children have a responsibility to act in ways that protect the confidentiality rights of all of the minors involved in the school. These confidentiality rights are afforded to our students under FERPA, Title IX, and applicable Ohio law and they govern the investigative process currently taking place.
Without abridging the confidentiality rights of all of the minors involved, I want to assure our school community that the matters are still being investigated internally, and that the investigation may take a few more weeks to complete. The investigation involves speaking with several different students, staff members, parents and school employees.
Accordingly, these matters take time, and they need to be handled very carefully. We live in an era where we expect immediate responses, due in part to the expediency that technology affords in our lives. However, I would encourage all to remember that when dealing with children, it takes time, care and patience; and in the school context, these children are entitled to confidentiality.
Allegations of student harassment, bullying, and violations of our student code of conduct are matters that the Board of Education and the District’s administration take very seriously. Investigations of school policy and code of conduct violations must be handled in such a way as to protect the rights of all involved. This is especially true in cases involving students.
I want to take this opportunity to remind our school community that we have two designated Title IX Coordinators in our school district. This is their contact information:
Brenda Frankart, Director of Federal Programs
9190 CR 9
Findlay, OH 45840
Kyle Leatherman, Liberty-Benton Middle School Principal
9050 SR 12
Findlay, OH 45840
Any member of our school community is encouraged to contact either of our Title IX Coordinators with any questions or concerns that involve non-discrimination in our educational programs here in the District.