Tuesday, February 12 2013 4:58 PM EST2013-02-12 21:58:36 GMT
Evidence in the abuse investigation involving former special needs teacher Amanda Kitcho reached the desk of Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell, he confirms to FOX19's investigative team. However,More >>
Evidence in the abuse investigation involving former special needs teacher Amanda Kitcho reached the desk of Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell, he confirms to FOX19's investigative team. However, because no child suffered "serious physical harm" Fornshell says there was no basis to charge Kitcho with a felony and he declined to prosecute her.More >>
Tuesday, February 12 2013 9:09 AM EST2013-02-12 14:09:15 GMT
A lawsuit obtained by FOX19 is raising allegations of special needs students being abused at an elementary school in the Kings Local School District in Warren County. Sources connected to Columbia ElementaryMore >>
A lawsuit obtained by FOX19 is raising allegations of special needs students being abused at an elementary school in the Kings Local School District in Warren County.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:24 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:24:18 GMT
Concealed weapon permits are popular certain parts of Louisiana, though some of locations may surprise you. Louisiana Department of Public Safety officials gave a report to state legislators detailingMore >>
Concealed weapon permits are popular in certain parts of Louisiana, though some locations may surprise you.More >>
Police have identified a suspect in the murder of Joseph Massenburg, an 18-year-old AmeriCorps volunteer from Chicago, killed in Carrollton. New Orleans police have obtained an arrest warrant for GlenMore >>
Police have identified a suspect in the murder of Joseph Massenburg, an 18-year-old AmeriCorps volunteer from Chicago, killed in Carrollton.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 03:45:03 GMT
Officers are on the scene of a deadly shooting in East Feliciana Parish. There is very little information right now, but we're told it happened around 4 p.m. at a home on Highway 10, near Smith Road, justMore >>
Investigators have arrested a suspect in a murder that happened on Friday afternoon in a small community near Clinton.More >>
Organizers of the Bayou Country Superfest have released the schedule of performers for this weekend's event at Tiger Stadium.Saturday5:00 p.m. - Aaron Lewis5:45 p.m. - Thompson Square6:45 p.m. - DariusMore >>
Organizers of the Bayou Country Superfest have released the schedule of performers for this weekend's event at Tiger Stadium.More >>
KINGS MILLS, OH (FOX19) -
Some parents in Warren County are up-in-arms after learning last night from a FOX19 investigation of the Kings Local School District Board's campaign of secrecy surrounding allegations that a former teacher may have mistreated special needs students at Columbia Elementary.
Now, FOX19 has obtained a copy of the written district policy on how school employees should handle "cases of suspected child abuse or neglect." In the very first directive, school employees are told they "shall not contact the child's family."
We contacted every board member today and asked them if they were willing to sit down with us to explain why that policy is in place. Instead, board president Bonnie Baker-Hicks sent us a statement that, she revealed, had been approved by their lawyer. The statement said school leaders "communicate with parents as appropriate." It also said the district complies with Ohio law. But there is no law mandating parents be informed of possible child abuse, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.
"I know as a parent what my preference would be," he added.
No board member responded to further inquiries from FOX19 about the policy after Baker-Hicks sent the statement this afternoon.
Cincinnati attorney Chris Finney, who's suing the school district for records detailing the district's investigation, tells FOX19 parents who had a child in Amanda Kitcho's class were never told by school leaders that their son or daughter may have been the victim of verbal or physical abuse. At least one family found out when they received an anonymous letter, said Finney.
He filed the lawsuit that put the allegations into the public record. Specifically, in the court documents, he cites a teacher's aide in Kitcho's classroom who said some students were pushed and shoved and verbally abused.
Kitcho's attorney, John R. Doll of Dayton, said last night a criminal investigation "exonerated" her.
Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell told FOX19 today he found the allegations "disturbing." However, he said he could not pursue felony charges against Kitcho because there was no evidence or allegation that a student suffered "serious physical harm." He also revealed that it was his office which received the initial report of possible abuse, which he forwarded to sheriff's investigators.
Doll did not respond today to FOX19's questions about the prosecutor's comments and other information we learned about Kitcho, including the fact that she now works part-time at a Catholic Church.
Father Jan K. Schmidt of St. Margaret of York Church in Loveland says Kitcho's position is "entirely clerical." In response to a FOX19 inquiry he also told us, "She does not have direct contact with children."
We learned of Kitcho's hiring after obtaining the church's bulletin from February 3 in which Father Schmidt announced that she was now a part of the church's staff.
To view Kings' Abuse Notification Policy, click here.