Bardstown police learn about teacher sex allegations on social m - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Bardstown police learn about teacher sex allegations on social media, local news

(Source: WAVE 3 News) (Source: WAVE 3 News)

BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Bardstown City Schools administrators maintain they had enough reason to believe that a former substitute teacher may have had sex with three high school students over summer break, so they asked the Division of Child Protective Services to investigate.

But, more than five weeks later, the mother of one of the alleged victims tells WAVE 3 News that CPS hasn't contacted her or her son.

"None of the boys want (the substitute) to get in trouble," Stephanie Walls said in a telephone interview Monday. "But she, as the adult, preyed on 17-year-olds, and people need to know about it."

Bardstown's interim police chief said his detectives learned about the investigation this past weekend through social media and The Kentucky Standard.

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"Any time there allegations involving employees of the school system and the students, I think law enforcement should have been contacted," Captain McKenzie Mattingly said.

"This is a unique situation," Superintendent Brent Holsclaw said. "Something that we are appalled at that another adult would violate trust of a child."

The alleged incidents are believed to have occurred off-campus, at a non-school event, according to Holsclaw and Bardstown High School Principal Chris Pickett.

"We already were into the school year when we started hearing rumors," Pickett told WAVE 3 News off-camera. "We interviewed several students, and three admitted that (the substitute) engaged in sexual activity."

Neither school administrators nor CPS' regional director would detail specifics of the allegations, citing confidentiality laws protecting juveniles.

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A CPS memorandum sent to Nelson County's commonwealth attorney and sheriff on August 31 refers to the allegations as a 'non-caretaker' matter, thus a matter for local authorities.

County authorities placed a copy of the memo in the Bardstown Police mail slot on Labor Day, a sheriff's detective told WAVE 3 News. But the holiday and vacations resulted in police not finding it until after Walls vented her frustrations on Facebook, leading to the newspaper coverage, Captain Mattingly confirmed.

"We're launching our own investigation," Mattingly said.

CPS had not advised Bardstown City Schools that it considered the allegations a local matter, Superintendent Holsclaw said Monday afternoon.

The substitute had covered about 20 days of classes in the preceding school year, Superintendent Holsclaw said, adding that she had not received any complaints about the teacher.

Prior to the allegations being raised, the former substitute had informed the district that she had accepted a full-time position as a coordinator for Geared Up, a state-affiliated college-readiness program in the Washington County School district.

Washington County Superintendent Dr. J. Robin Cochran told WAVE 3 News the former substitute worked for the state program, not the school district, and referred all questions to Geared Up's regional coordinator and to its offices in Frankfort.  Neither returned phone calls or emails seeking comment.

Walls believes the matter shouldn't rest now that the accused has left district employment. "We need answers," Walls said. "She's a grown woman, who has kids of her own. She should know better."

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