MEDIA STATEMENT REGARDING MULTIPLE EMPLOYEE ARRESTS WITHIN SHORT SPAN OF TIME
The Elk Grove Unified School District has responded to seven incidents of sexual misconduct within the past two years. It is the District’s belief that even one incident is one too many; this number of incidents is high in a relatively short amount of time and this number is not acceptable. The District understands that this matter is very concerning to all staff, students, parents and the District’s communities. Student safety remains the District’s utmost priority.
Five of the seven incidents noted involved District employees. The remaining two incidents were based on arrests made outside the District’s jurisdiction involving individuals who either volunteer or provide traffic services at a school. The acts of these individuals did not involve the school or the school’s students. The District ensured that all seven individuals were given fingerprint clearance and underwent thorough background checks.
The Elk Grove Unified School District takes allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously. In crisis situations such as these, the District and school administration immediately responds and works closely with law enforcement to investigate. When allegations of sexual misconduct arise, the employee is immediately placed on administrative leave or otherwise removed from having contact with District students pending the results of the investigation. The school and District also provide support to the victim and the victim’s families to the greatest extent possible. In most cases, law enforcement leads the communication efforts to the public to avoid jeopardizing an investigation. Based on that direction, the District then notifies the school’s parent community about the incident and provides an opportunity to contact the school with inquiries. In cases where criminal charges and/or an arrest is made, the District and school work with law enforcement to communicate the information to the public and to the parent community.
In the last two years, the Elk Grove Unified School District has responded to the following incidents of inappropriate sexual conduct:
- Sheldon High School (John (Juan) Young 5/2/17)
- Cosumnes Oaks High School (Name withheld 4/20/17)
- Marion Mix (Chris Navarette 2/24/17) – Crossing Guard through Independent Contractor
- Prairie Elementary (Eric Echols-Gollas 9/16/16)
- Prairie Elementary (Chris Kinney 12/14/16) – Volunteer
- Sheldon HS (John Misplay 3/18/16)
- Florin High School (Rudy Beuhler 4/8/16)
Thanks to continued outreach to students, staff and parents, these incidents came to light because the District encourages people that “If they SEE something or KNOW something, to SAY something.” These incidents were reported by concerned individuals who felt comfortable coming forward with the information. While the District undeniably prefers that none of these situations had occurred, District and school officials are grateful they were brought to light so they could be appropriately addressed. The District will continue to foster an environment where students and staff feel comfortable coming forward and reporting inappropriate conduct.
The District follows preventative measures outlined for schools that are enumerated in a U.S. Department of Education study, “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature,” a Policy and Program Studies Service published in 2004 by the Under Secretary. Given the number of incidents within a short period of time, the Elk Grove Unified School District will review and evaluate its District Policies and Practices regarding hiring practices, training and reporting to ensure the District is taking all available precautions to ensure student safety.
About the Elk Grove Unified School District
The Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) is the fifth-largest school district in California located in southern Sacramento County. EGUSD covers 320 square miles and includes 65 schools: 40 elementary schools, nine middle schools, nine high schools, five alternative education schools, an adult school, one charter school and a virtual academy. Offering a multitude of educational programs, including over 40 career-themed academies and pathways within 14 industry sectors, we prepare our students for college and career by supporting them with the means to be creative problem solvers; self-aware, self-reliant, and self-disciplined; technically literate; effective communicators and collaborators; and engaged in the community as individuals with integrity. We integrate rigorous academics with career-based learning and real world workplace experiences and strive for having every student learning in every classroom, every subject, every day.
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