Olathe community rallies outside school district building after former teacher charged

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OLATHE, Kan. — Parents, teachers and students held a rally called “Don’t Pass the Trash” Thursday morning in Olathe.

This event came after 58-year old James Loganbill, a fourth-grade teacher at Meadow Lane Elementary School, was arrested and charged with stalking last week.

Dozens gathering outside the Olathe Board of Education building, promoting policy change and protection of students within the district.

“This specific situation relates to a lot of people who have daughters, but the boys are not excluded from this either. It happens to all kids. You gotta keep the kids safe,” said Barb Hendricks, mother of three Olathe students.

Hendricks isn’t alone in her frustration, shock and concern over the allegations and stalking charge against Loganbill.

Johnson County’s top prosecutor said Loganbill allegedly took pictures of a fourth-grade girl without consent inside his classroom between August 1, 2019, and March 10, 2020. 

Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said prosecutors believe the actions were sexually motivated. 

And he said if it weren’t for students reporting his behavior, no one would have known. 

Some parents feel this isn’t an isolated incident.

“The fact that this was known, the tendencies of this person were known, and it was swept under the rug, it’s unthinkable,” Kena Gabel said. “It hits way too close to home, as an educator and a parent, and even if people aren’t parents they should understand this can’t happen.”

Those at Thursday rally said it was meant to get district leaders’ attention.

In a statement to FOX4, the district said:

“The safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority. Any instance of reported misconduct against a student or staff member is taken seriously and thoroughly investigated.

“As the district cannot provide additional information for instances involving legal matters, we remain dedicated to providing a welcoming and safe atmosphere in which students can learn.”

Loganbill resigned from his position in March when the allegations came to light.

He’s awaiting a court appearance set for August 18. 

Next Tuesday, the group, along with lawmakers and local leaders, will take part in a closed door forum to discuss first steps of reform and changing laws dealing with the exploitation of children.

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