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CLCS board asked about harassment

June 6, 2012
By DAVE O’CONNOR - CORRESPONDENT ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

MAYVILLE - "We've investigated and continue to investigate any and all allegations."

That in part was Chautauqua Lake Central School Superintendent Benjamin Spitzer's reply to allegations raised by a concerned parent of recent sexual harassment of eighth-grade girls while in the school.

Shannon McCaslin raised the allegations at the start of the school board's Wednesday May 23 session during the time allotted for public comment.

Article Photos

Photo by Dave O’Connor
Shannon McCaslin, foreground, asked questions and shared her concerns as a parent about allegations of the sexual harassment of “three or four” eighth-grade girls at Chautauqua Lake District School during the school board’s meeting on Wednesday, May 23.

McCaslin said she had been made aware that, "three or four girls were sexually harassed and possible even molested."

Asked after the meeting for more details, McCaslin declined to comment further.

"These are allegations that may or may not have been proven," Superintendent Spitzer told McCaslin. "Student safety is already a primary focus, always.

"If there's any police matter we will contact the police," Spitzer said,

Spitzer recommended McCaslin and any other concerned parents meet with Secondary Principal Josh Liddell. Spitzer also noted he was available

"I will meet with any parent to talk about their child," he said.

During her comments, McCaslin expressed chagrin that the school board was apparently not actively involved in the investigation.

"What you're telling me is the school board will never deal with this," she said.

"We are not allowed by law to micro-manage," Board President Jill Scott responded.

"We have to get it right for all the children involved," Spitzer said. "We've (the administration and school board) have never swept anything under the rug."

The allegations must be treated with discretion, according to the superintendent.

"We have to get it right for all the children involved," Spitzer said. "An allegation doesn't equal guilt."



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