Teachers, bosses charged in NJ school sex scandal

Associated Press Modified: October 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm •  Published: October 5, 2012
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Rape charges cannot be filed because the sex acts were consensual and the girls were old enough to consent under state law, Faulk said.

A student who was not among the alleged victims, told a substitute teacher in April that teachers were "hooking up" with students, authorities say. The sub then told DePaul.

The principal met with the student, who told her she'd been to one of the teacher's homes with a girl who was involved with him and had seen the explicit text messages, prosecutors say.

DePaul asked her to write an account of what she had heard, and Assistant Principal Jernee Kollock stayed with the student to help her write the statement, even helping her with her grammar — but also making it seem less serious, authorities allege.

Around the same time, Faulk said, DePaul learned one of the teachers had driven an alleged victim and another student to Ocean City in violation of district policy. But, he said, the teacher was merely reprimanded.

DePaul told her bosses about the teacher driving a student, but prosecutors say she never passed along the claims of sex. Instead, authorities say, she told at least one school employee to delete text-message exchanges with a student from his phone. It's not clear from court documents who the employee was.

DePaul and Kollock were charged with official misconduct. DePaul later said she wished she had been more concerned for the students than the teachers, Faulk said.

The teachers were suspended last month by the Black Horse Regional School District; the administrators were suspended Thursday. Superintendent John Golden said in a statement that the district was cooperating with authorities, notifying families of students of the allegations and offering counseling.

"In addition, we have initiated a comprehensive review of our existing policies, protocols and training and education materials to prevent this from happening again at this or any district school," the statement said.

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Follow Mulvihill at http://www.twitter.com/geoffmulvihill.



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