Friday, March 04, 2016

Dr. Ferebee Blames "Incompetent Staff" For Failing To Timely Report Child Abuse To DCS

UPDATED: FEREBEE KNEW FROM DAY ONE!
Dr. Louis Ferebee addressing reporters (WRTV Photo)
IPS Supt. Dr. Lewis Ferebee just concluded a live press conference with area media to address school administrators' failure to follow state law and report immediately to the Department of Child Services once school officials learned that an IPS counselor, Shana Taylor, had engaged in sex with students of Longfellow Alternative School. Instead, those school officials waited six days after learning of the sexual relationship between Taylor and at least one student from a parent, who discovered graphic photos and text messages exchanged between Taylor and the student. Dr. Ferebee blamed "incompetent staff" for failing to timely report the abuse to state child welfare workers. "I'm very disappointed by the incompetence of our employees," Dr. Ferebee said.

According to Dr. Ferebee, all involved assumed someone else was taking care of the reporting requirement as they went about ensuring that Taylor had no further contact with students after learning from the parent of her extracurricular activities on February 17. At least four school officials have been identified in court papers as having knowledge of the child abuse, including Longfellow Alternative School Principal Mark Cosand and Assistant Principal William Jensen, Director of Student Services Deb Lesor, Human Resources Director Tina Hestor, and human resources case worker Shalon Dabney. School officials became aware of the failure to report in compliance with the law five days later on February 22, at which time the assistant principal prepared a report; however, that report did not get transmitted to DCS until a day later, or at least six days from the day school officials learned of Taylor sexually abusing a student.

A reporter attempted to ask Dr. Ferebee when he first learned of the allegations against Taylor. Dr. Ferebee started to respond that he learned of it when Taylor was being interviewed by school officials about the allegations. The school's press spokesperson, Kristin Cutler, cut off reporters from further questions when they tried to pin Dr. Ferebee down to the date he learned of those allegations. Dr. Ferebee assured reporters that every employee with knowledge of the facts, all of whom he said acknowledged their awareness of both the state's and the school's policy for timely reporting allegations of child abuse, would be appropriately disciplined for their failure to comply with state law and school policy. The school board is scheduled to meet later this afternoon and discuss the matters during an executive session at 5:00 p.m. School officials who failed to comply with the state law could face criminal charges for their neglect of the law.

UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star is reporting that Cutler confirmed following today's press conference that Dr. Ferebee was among those IPS employees who knew about the allegations against Taylor on February 17, the first day IPS officials became aware of the allegations:
Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee publicly criticized five employees Friday for failing to immediately report suspected child abuse to authorities — a delay that violated state law and the district's own policies. "This is a clear case of incompetence," he said. 
Yet, a school spokeswoman confirmed to IndyStar that Ferebee himself learned of the allegations on Feb. 17, but also did not report them to the Indiana Department of Child Services.
The only thing that remains to be done is for IPS to fire Ferebee and other employees who ignored state law and school policy. It's just that simple. It is shocking those policies could not have been foremost in their minds given recent events that transpired at Park Tudor. This is just inexcusable. Ferebee should have included himself in his criticism that IPS employees were incompetent.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

And we are just suppose to believe him?

Gary R. Welsh said...

He didn't look or sound free of culpability as he dissed others. Hopefully, the board will hold his feet to the fire. Think about it. Would nobody bother to alert the school's superintendent the very day that school officials learned one of its employees faced potential criminal charges, in addition to discharge, for having sex with students? If they're not talking to him, he's not got a handle on the job and shouldn't be there.

Anonymous said...

Hell let's give him another raise, if he were a CEO in the real world he'd have been fired.

leon dixon said...

"Interview each of the Board Members. My experience has been that Board Members get the bad news on any event almost in real time. If they don't, they should. Ask Board Members from other jurisdictions.....maybe IPS has more than one systemic failure system."

Bob Sharpe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sounds like Dr. Freebe is the one to blame. Incompetent staff equals incompetent leadership. What a horse's *ss!

leon dixon said...

S0, where is Sutton? Bullshit artist who somehow helped ruin his school district....

Where is Greg Wright...who knows plenty?

Anonymous said...


How did this clown ever get selected IPS Superintendent? It had to be race based. It just had to be. What a clown. What a weak persona.

This Ferebee should not only be fired but should be jailed under the law. He did not do what he was supposed to do, what he was hired to do, he did NOT protect our children.

How pathetic. As usual, people like Ferebee can break the laws we little people are expected and forced to obey.

Anonymous said...

This stinks of a cover-up attempt at the highest level of IPS.

Anonymous said...

My experience is that Superintendent's usually lack brains. In Ferebee's defense one might note that he didn't grow up here in Indiana nor have any experience with Indiana laws-peculiar as some of them may be. He does also have a crummy Board-a School Board that isn't really about the details of student academic achievement. What I have seen elsewhere is that lacking talent, often the legal advisors assume the role of adults. So, I'd FOI for the phone records of each Board member to any legal advisors paid by us taxpayers, any Ferebee calls to similar shysters (for, as we are coming to learn, lawyers are evaders of both law and justice). The timelines will prove instructive. Might send a few shysters to jail as well....and, they should be jailed....lots of them.

Anonymous said...

534 said it best- incompetent staff equals incompetent leadership. My experience says knowledge of an incident of this magnitude gets relayed straight to the top immediately, board included. Ferebe should just man up and admit he and his people screwed up, and immediately implement a plan to correct it in the future, God forbid something like this ever happen again. I would have more respect for him.

Anonymous said...

Is Sutton working with the realtor to put lgbt signs in a school zone?

Anonymous said...

and from Jennifer Wagner,,,,,,,we are all bigots and racists because we question leadership at IPS.

Anonymous said...


Proposed New Lawn Sign Campaign, with a legally registered PAC akin to Mr. Warren's:

IPS Supt. Dr. Louis Ferebee MUST GO! Your Child's Safety Can't Wait Six Days

Anonymous said...

Did nobody wonder why no investigators were coming from CPS or from the police or from media
if they all assumed that "someone else" had told the authorities? for days??? Higher ups are responsible
for this lapse, not underlings who did as they have been told to do.

Anonymous said...

Some people can be arrested in close proximity to school zones.

Anonymous said...

Come on folks! Next time it will not take six days for anyone to report the abuse. Because next time it (probably) won't coincide with a school board vote that increases Ferebee's pay by 25%. How often would that happen?