Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Six Days To Report Child Sex Abuse: Where's The Media Outrage?


Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee, Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools
IPS Supt. Dr. Louis Ferebee
IPS officials waited six days after they received evidence that one of its counselors had exchanged explicit images and sexual messages with a student to make a report to the Department of Child Services, a clear violation of a state law requiring school officials to immediately report instances of suspected child sex abuse to child welfare services or law enforcement. Shana Taylor, a counselor at the Phoenix Academy at Longfellow Elementary School, now faces criminal charges for having sex with students in her school office.

Unlike the recent case at the prestigious Park Tudor private school where school officials waited a full day to make a vague, misleading report to the Department of Child Services, media outrage has been noticeably absent except for a WTHR-TV report last night. Does the media look at such matters through a different lens when the victims attend a school for the rich than when the abuse occurs at an inner city school heavily populated with the poor and minorities? Why aren't tough questions being asked of Dr. Louis Ferebee and school board members who just awarded him a gigantic pay raise last week knowing full well his administration had failed to act in conformance with state law in reporting suspected child abuse in this instance? Is law enforcement considering charges against those school officials who ignored state law and provided ample opportunity for Taylor to destroy evidence of her sexual relationships with students? IPS parents and the public deserve the laser-like coverage our local media gave to the transgressions of Park Tudor officials.

UPDATE: Here's a statement released by the Marion Co. Prosecutor's Office today:
Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced today that charges have been filed against a school employee accused of engaging in sexual conduct with two juvenile students. Shana Taylor, 37, is alleged to have committed the offenses involving two 16-year-old male students while she was employed as a high school guidance counselor at Longfellow Alternative School in Indianapolis. Taylor is charged with eight counts of Child Seduction (Level 5 Felonies), one count of Child Seduction (Level 6 Felony), Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (Class A Misdemeanor) and Dissemination of Matter Harmful to Minors (Level 6 Felony).
An investigation into the matter was opened by the IMPD Sex Crimes Unit upon receipt of a report from the Indiana Department of Child Services on February 23.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case, Taylor is alleged to have engaged in sexual conduct with one student in multiple locations, including the school, between October 2015 and February 2016. The encounters began when the student was 16 years of age and continued while he was age 17. Eight of the counts charged today relate to alleged conduct with this student.
Taylor is also accused of having a sexual encounter with a second student while that student was 16 years of age. Two of the Child Seduction counts charged today relate to alleged conduct with this student.
As further alleged in the probable cause affidavit, the mother of one victim came to the school and disclosed that she had viewed numerous text and Facebook messages between her son and Taylor. The mother provided the school with the messages and inappropriate photos of Taylor which were sent to the woman's son.
Taylor was arrested in Elletsville on February 25. An initial hearing is scheduled for today at 1:00 p.m. in Criminal Court 6.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hear you. Where is the outrage? It's called CYA. Whenever there's a major problem within a school system there is always invariably the obligatory circling of the wagons thus commenced. This is what happens when members of the school system and its supporters think of their careers first,children second.

I've witnessed this first hand. I was attending school in a township district within Marion County when an incident left me disappointed with an educator. An educator that would tell the class tales of his support and participation with the Civil Rights Movement during the 60's,nevermind this was an all-white school district at the time.

In the spring of 1977 a large group of students chaperoned by the educator went for a canoe trip at Turkey Run State Park. An incident transpired involving three males and a female freshman student. I don't know if the educator ever confronted the perpetrators,but I do know the educator confronted some weaker members of the group (male) in an effort to turn the perps in to authorities outside of the school system--meaning,the onus was on the weaker group of kids instead of the educator doing the right thing. I understood why the educator chose this method.... to save his career.

I understand this particular educator has chosen to run for office. Knowing what I know,I could never vote for such a coward.

Anonymous said...

Urine for duh media, as usual. They don't believe in much of anything so all of their outrage is feigned. FAUX. Is there any principle or moral rule they won't pervert? They are also easily purchased. I am thinking another reason why WWII "history" remains classified is because of the role of the press would be exposed and their fawning adulation of Stalin. I.F. Stone was just one of hundreds of bought and paid JOURNALISTS.

Pete Boggs said...

The dead tree Granny-Net is dying. Stand by with shovels...

Donna Moore said...

This will not change until there is the correct response by the Justice System....follow through with consequences for those who do not abide by the law....just like with children if you say you are going to do something for not following the rules (laws) and you do not follow through why would they change their behavior.....when was the last time anyone much less anyone in education was charged with failure to report??? Doesn,t happen.

Anonymous said...

The Star's reporters are still to busy manufacturing stories about RFRA to check out a real story.

Pete Boggs said...

Yes Anon 9:55, Granny-Net's Scar is guilty of text abuse...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Louis Freebe? Maybe?

Anonymous said...

I cannot help but wonder if there is a gender bias as well. Park Tudor's male teacher/female student vs IPS's female counselor/male students. Regardless, shame on IPS adm and the media.

Flogger said...

The Stars big story this week was all about wait for it, I know your holding your breath Peyton Manning.

It is interesting that just a few days ago someone from IPS after the pay-out to another victim of abuse, said something to the effect - we have moved on and have better reporting and responses for these types of incidents.

Greg Wright said...

As a former school board member, it has been my experience that each and every school board member is trained to respond immediately to situations described in your column. This matter is very important and should immediately be investigated and the Principal, Administrator, Deputy Superintendent and/or Superintendent found to be responsible for the delay should be held criminally responsible.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Wagner prides herself on being able to control the Star. She claims she was a writer/reporter there. But has anyone heard a word from her about this latest IPS cluster...nope, she's too busy chasing more no bid contracts from the Democrats..

Anonymous said...

School Board Members are culpable for this and a whole lot more.