Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Camera found in D-2 school bathroom

CRAFT received an email about the incident below on January 2nd, 2006. The writer had asked the school board and superintendent about this incident. Why does it have to take involved parents to bring incidents like this to light. If this parent had not spoken up would the school officials still be sitting on this information? Parents should have received notice of this incident shortly after it happened. More proof that schools are more concerned about their image than actually protecting the children that they serve.

The article below appeared in the January 4 edition of the Northwest Herald.

Camera found in D-2 school bathroom

Video inside

[published on Wed, Jan 4, 2006]
RICHMOND – Nippersink District 2 suspended one of its employees last month after a teacher found a hidden wireless camera in a staff bathroom at Richmond Grade School, Superintendent Paul Hain said Tuesday.

Hain said students, who return from winter break today, are in no danger.

District officials would not name the employee but said the person was not a teacher.

"We are trying to do this as legally and dutifully as we can right now," Hain said. "If there is any truth to this, the school board will fire in a heartbeat anybody who has done that."

Richmond Police Chief Rich Contant said the department had a suspect but had not filed any charges in connection with the incident.

A male teacher used the bathroom Dec. 13 to change his clothes after finding all the bathrooms near the gymnasium full. As the teacher bent over to collect his things, he noticed the small camera under the sink, Hain said.

"It was pointed at the toilet," Hain said.

The bathroom, which is behind the school's kitchen, is used by kitchen staff, maintenance workers, and occasionally teachers. It is a private bathroom, without a stall, that can be used by either men or women.

CBS 2 Video

Richmond police started their investigation Dec. 14 but did not search the rest of the bathrooms until Dec. 19 and Dec. 20.

Winter break started Dec. 21, one week after the camera was found.

Contant said they did not find any more cameras in other bathrooms.

"Parents should not be concerned for their kids at this point," Contant said. "The camera was found in a bathroom, but not one used by children."

Hain said police seized some of the school's equipment, including a computer, as evidence, but he said he did not know whether any images were recovered.

"They are checking to see if any of it was used or if there were any latent images," Hain said.

Contant said he was waiting for a forensics lab to tell him what they have and said he will check with the state attorney's office to see if they have another evidence to press charges.

Hain said the school board will fire the employee if there is credible evidence, even if charges are never filed.

"We don't have to have that same standard of evidence in order to take an action," he said.


1 comment:

Jim and Cathy Peschke said...

This letter to the editor appeared in the January 9, 2006 edition of the Northwest Herald.

As a taxpayer, and more important, a parent of two children attending Nippersink District 2 schools, and having had four others pass through them, I am appalled by the gall of the administration in thinking it could keep the news of a camera being found in one of the bathrooms at Richmond Grade School from the parents of their students more than three weeks.

When the camera was found Dec. 13, children still were in that school for a week before Christmas break began.

For the district to send home a letter to the parents after the story broke - to our horror and I'm sure theirs - on TV and in the newspaper, is a further insult to the families of this district.

The District 2 administration owes the community, its lifeblood, a heartfelt apology and a promise to keep them better informed in the future of anything that could possibly affect our children.

Lauren Wagner

Spring Grove