Parent asks court for order of protection from teacher

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The father of a 10-year-old student at Sheldon Elementary School has filed a Petition for an Order of Child Protection in the Vernon County Circuit Court. Roger Huggins claims his son, who has special needs, was pushed against a desk and struck with an eraser by his fifth-grade teacher, Jackie Allen, on Nov. 12.

Sheldon Superintendent Steve Fox was called Friday and a message was left for him but he did not return the call. Principal Tim Judd was called Monday, with the same result. Attempts to reach school board members also were unsuccessful.

Huggins said he didn't discover the incident until the grandparent of a fellow student called.

"On Nov. 12 Mrs. Allen shoved my child against her desk, threw an eraser and hit him in front of the class," his complaint in circuit court states. "School never notified me. On Nov. 18, a grandparent called me and asked my wife if she heard what happened. We didn't know. The morning of Nov. 19, I went to school to question the principal, Tim Judd.

"He admitted the incident took place and was doing his investigation, taking statements from students and said it was not my concern until after the investigation," Huggins said in a statement accompanying the petition.

Although administrators did not return phone calls from the Daily Mail, the Daily Mail determined that the board's written policies indicate that "Any complaint about school personnel will be investigated by the Administration before consideration and action by the Board."

Huggins said in an interview that he followed the proper channels before going to the school board in December. Public board policies did not specifically address what actions might be taken by the board in such an instance.

Huggins' petition also indicates that week after discussing the incident with Judd, Huggins returned to the school and spoke with the superintendent, Steve Fox,

"On Nov. 20 I met with Superintendent Steve Fox at which time officer Dan Miller, the school's resource officer, was with Fox," the petition states. "My wife and I questioned Fox why she was in the classroom teaching while (there were) allegations of child abuse. He told me he didn't know. I visited with Dan Miller and went home. Three hours later Steve Fox called and said she wouldn't be back until the school board meeting in Dec."

Huggins also said his son was questioned by investigators from Kansas City.

"Child Services came down from Kansas City and questioned my son in my home and took his statement and she met with Officer Miller," the petition states.

Huggins said he went to the school board meeting Dec. 10, seeking some answers, and again was told no information could be given to him.

"My wife and I went to the school board meeting on Dec. 10." Huggins said. "We were in closed session, they said they couldn't tell me anything."

Huggins said that his son was suspended from school before the Christmas vacation began Monday.

"They suspended my son and he didn't go to school Thursday and Friday," Huggins said.

On Dec. 12 Huggins filed his petition with the Circuit Court.

A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m., today.

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