INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Allegations of inappropriate pictures of a teacher sent to at least one student has led the Independence Police Department’s Special Victims Unit to open an investigation.
“It’s absolutely just — ugh, it’s so gross ’cause it’s children. You don’t do that. We’re supposed to protect children,” said Leann Vanartsdalen, whose child attends Bingham Middle School.
But that teacher is still in the classroom, leaving parents asking why. As frustrations grow with that educator still teaching, the district is standing by its decision.
“If the allegations — whether they are true or not — the teacher should not be in contact with children, period, during the investigation. Have him on paid administrative leave,” Vanartsdalen said.
As officials sort out the validity of the accusations, the teacher remains in the building. It’s a concern for parents, no matter if it’s true or not.
Working for you, FOX4 received the note sent home to parents. In part, it reads:
“Dear Bingham staff and families,
“We wanted to make you aware of unsubstantiated information that is making its way around social media in the ISD community.
“The district is conducting an investigation to determine the origin of a digital message that a student claims they received. As of now, there is no proof substantiating that the message came from an ISD employee. IPD is helping investigate the issue.
“We take such matters seriously, and a thorough investigation is underway while we work to respect the privacy and confidentiality of all parties involved. We ask the same of our community on social media circulating unsubstantiated information.”
The district does also have policies that surround false reporting. But it doesn’t change Vanartsdalen’s opinion for now.
“He should not – no matter if they’re true or not — until the investigation is done, he should not have any contact around children,” that Bingham parent said.