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IPS mum on discipline 1 month after controversy

Posted at 9:04 PM, Mar 30, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- A month after it was discovered several Indianapolis Public School officials waited six days to reported alleged child abuse to the Indiana Department of Child Services, it’s not clear whether any staff members have been disciplined over the error.

MORE | IPS waited six days to report alleged abuse to DCS

Call 6 Investigates reported March 2 that Longfellow Alternative School officials were made aware of sexual abuse allegations against counselor Shana Taylor on Feb.17 when a parent came to the school and disclosed she had viewed numerous text and Facebook messages between her son and Taylor.

MOREIPS counselor charged with child seduction  | CALL 6: IPS counselor arrested on child seduction charges   

State law requires schools to immediately report abuse or neglect allegations to law enforcement or DCS.

In a news conference on March 4, IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee vowed the administration would “aggressively issue discipline accordingly” for what he called a “clear case of incompetence.”

MORE | IPS officials discuss allegations against counselor

However, it’s still not clear if anyone has been disciplined.

Among those who could face sanctions include assistant principal William Jensen, director of student services Deb Leser, human resources director Tina Hestor, human resources case worker Shalon Dabney, Positive Supports Academy ex-Principal Mark Cosand, and Dr. Lewis Ferebee himself.

CALL 6 | Ex-IPS principal speaks out about failure to report abuse

Mark Cosand stepped down from his position as principal, but he can continue to work for the district.

IPS spokesperson Kristin Cutler declined to comment on whether any discipline had taken place.

“We don’t comment on the details of personnel issues,” said Cutler, who declined to speak in generalities about whether the administration was in fact, aggressively issuing discipline.

IPS board president Mary Ann Sullivan said disciplinary actions “are in process” but declined to go into specifics citing the fact that they do not comment on personnel issues.

“From day one, the board has taken this so seriously,” said Sullivan.

School officials who failed to immediately report the alleged abuse could also face criminal charges.

A spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor’s office said the matter is still under investigation.

The court set a $30,000 surety bond on March 21 for Shana Taylor.

Records show Taylor is still housed in the Marion County jail, however, if her bond is satisfied she will be placed on GPS monitoring and is ordered to stay away from all schools.

She is due back in court on May 4.


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