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Two Texas principals charged after failing to report sexual assaults on students

February 12, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Two Texas principals charged after failing to report sexual assaults on students

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Two principals in the same Texas school district are accused of neglecting to report purported sexual assaults of very young male students. The children reportedly performed lewd acts on each other.

Cindy Sue Underwood, the principal of Haynes Northwest Academy, and Kory Fancher Dorman, the principal of Crockett Elementary, have been placed on administrative leave while the Wichita Falls Independent School District looks into allegations that they failed to inform the appropriate authorities about the improper behavior.

On Monday, authorities arrested Underwood, 35. The arrest warrant, which was obtained by KAUZ, indicated that Child Protective Services contacted the Wichita Falls Police Department back in November about a potential case of aggravated sexual assault at Haynes Northwest Academy, KSAT reporterd.

Investigators revealed that a district-owned iPad contained photos of three, six-year-old boys taking part in sexual acts with one another at the school.

Kory Fancher Dorman

In October, a teacher found the explicit pictures on the tablet. She told Underwood. Times Record News reported that Underwood looked at the images and identified those involved to authorities. The pictures were timestamped October 3rd.

The principal told investigators that the iPad was assigned to one of the involved students; she believed the boys took pictures of one another on a classroom rug.

Underwood told police that she decided to contact the students’ parents but did not file a CPS report.

However, the Texas Family Code mandates that an administrator report suspected abuse or neglect to law enforcement and the Department of Public Safety within two days. CPS investigators later said, based on his training and experience, six-year-olds should not know the sexual acts depicted in the pictures unless they had seen or experienced it, making them potential abuse victims.

On October 31st, one of the student’s parents filed a report with CPS which led to the investigation.

The other principal, 45-year-old Dorman, was taken into custody days prior on January 31st. According to The Times Record News, her affidavit said that the grandparents of a first-grade male student at Crockett Elementary contacted her in December. They believed their seven-year-old grandson was sexually assaulted by a six-year-old classmate while in the bathroom.

The grandparents told Wichita Falls authorities that the boy received oral sex from the other child. “He touched my pee-pee, and kissed it, put it in his mouth,” the grandparents said their grandson stated. They believed another first-grade pupil might also have been involved.

The Wichita Falls newspaper added that December 15 was a half-day before the district went on break. Faculty did not come back to school until January 2nd. A few weeks later, Dorman verified to detectives that she talked with the grandparents on December 15th about the purported sexual encounter. Dorman also said that the six-year-old boy asked the grandson to touch him as well.

Cindy Sue Underwood,

Based on the policy set forth by the Texas Family Code, Dorman did not follow protocol. She asked the school counselor to look into the accusation. T

he code forbids individuals from delegating this task to another employee. She, too, has been charged with Failure to Report, which is a misdemeanor. If convicted, it can carry a sentence of up to one year behind bars, along with a $4,000 penalty.

Recently, the prinicpals posted $1,000 bail each and were released from the jail.

This week, Wichita Falls ISD Superintendent Michael Kuhrt issued a statement supporting the principals’ integrity. “I won’t comment on whether the right judgment call was made, I know the character of both administrators in question, and I am confident that neither of these administrators would deliberately hurt a child.”

He added that district staff and administrators “entered into the education field because of their love for children and desire to do what’s right” working “tirelessly to ensure students are taken care of, not only at school but home as well.”

Kuhrt continued: “While it would be ideal to have a guide that would determine whether any situation constitutes abuse or neglect, many factors determine whether a situation warrants an investigation. Every day our staff is asked to make judgment calls based on the information they received, and each year there are numerous CPS reports made by teachers and administrators in the name of student safety and security.”

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