To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing this letter in hopes that justice will prevail and the students at Bisbee Unified School District will be protected from those who would make them victims. A twelve-year-old student reported phone conversations between her and a twenty-two-year-old male employed by the school district to her coach on May 3, 2023. The coach then sent me a text reporting the incident. I told her that the FBI should be contacted because they could search the male employee's phone using the carrier or IP address. I immediately received a text from the principal at the Jr. High, telling me NOT to contact the FBI and to stop all investigations into the matter. I was assured that the school would handle everything and take appropriate measures to protect the student.
When I returned to work on May 08, 2023, my daughter, who worked at the elementary school, texted me to report that the twenty-two-year-old male was at the elementary school working as if nothing had happened between him and the student. I immediately emailed the elementary school principal, stating that my integrity would not allow me to work on the same site as this man. I received an email back saying that he was asked to resign. I was told that the school had taken every measure to have the charges investigated and the problem would be resolved. Then on May 22, 2023, I learned that the male employee had continued to contact at least one of the now two twelve-year-old female students. I had the student email the text messages to me, and I directly forwarded them to the Jr. High principal along with the names of nine other 6th-grade students with this man's cell number. The principal told me that the police had been contacted and that everything was under control and being investigated. I had no reason to believe this was so after knowing the victims were still being contacted by this man, so on May 26, 2023, I called the Bisbee Police office and spoke with an officer for over an hour. I forwarded this officer over one-hundred texts between the twenty-two-year-old male and the two twelve-year-old girls.
The officer appeared not to have any knowledge of this incident. I was notified this morning, June 5, 2023, that no charges are being filed against the former employee! The report only mentioned one girl, even though there were two, and there was no mention that the twenty-two-year-old male was hired and employed for an entire school year with NO fingerprint clearance card. Per Arizona law, this is illegal! As a parent and an educator, I am appalled at this decision. This man can now go to any school in any state and apply for a job in which he can start all over forming romantic relationships with minors. The administration and authorities in Bisbee have no working knowledge of Arizona law.
The Immoral or Unprofessional Conduct for Certified and Non-Certificated Educators September 28, 2021, states this:
11. Make any sexual advance towards a pupil or child, either verbal, written, or physical;
12. Engage in sexual activity, a romantic relationship, or dating of a pupil or child;
What the courts say . . . In 1999, in a case called Davis v. Monroe, the Supreme Court ruled that a school district that did nothing to stop a fifth grader from being sexually harassed by a male student over several months was guilty of "deliberate indifference" to student-on-student sexual harassment. In that case, the Fifth grader became so upset that her grades dropped, and she thought about suicide. Her parents complained repeatedly, but nothing changed. The Court found that the school failed to act so severely that it denied the student equal access to education.
The deliberate indifference is evident in this situation and cannot be allowed to happen any longer!
The two students have drastically declined in making good choices throughout the year. I cannot disclose their choices or results; I can, however, beg parents to take a stand and demand that something is done about this incident. I can also offer the Arizona Department of Education educator lookup link. The link is simple to use, with just the last name of any educator. If you do not find the educator listed, there is a risk that the educator may not have a fingerprint clearance card. The card is Arizona's way of doing instant background checks. The card will be automatically revoked if the educator is ever fingerprinted for any incident.
The public link: https://oacis.azed.gov/PublicOACIS/NormalPages/Educators.aspx
Vanessa O'Malley-Clark, M.Ed., M.A.Ed., ABD Ph.D.