Clarke school superintendent hires Wisconsin firm for sex crimes audits

A Wisconsin law firm will handle a planned investigation of the Clarke County School District’s handling of two incidents involving sex crimes.


Clarke County School Superintendent Demond Means this week told the Clarke County Board of Education he had engaged the law firm Buelow, Vetter, Buikema & Olson to handle the inquiry.

The Waukesha County, Wisconsin firm represents the Wisconsin school district where Means worked before accepting the Clarke County superintendent position this summer.

Means had told board members last month that he wanted an independent, expert analysis by an outside law firm into how the district had handled the two cases. He said the external audits would address three points - legal policies and procedures, in particular whether Clarke County school officials followed the district’s policies; communications to parents, teachers, students and the community; and security protocols.

In the first incident, school officials took no disciplinary action against three students accused of raping a Cedar Shoals freshman in a gym stairwell during school hours on Jan. 7, 2016 until the three were arrested, nearly a month after the 15-year-old girl told administrators she’d been raped.

Parents, students and the community only learned of the alleged rape when the Athens Banner-Herald reported that Athens-Clarke police arrested and jailed the three students.

Then this summer, Athens-Clarke County police arrested a Clarke County substitute teacher and coach on child molestation and other felony charges. Police also disclosed that the teacher had previously been accused of similar offenses.

The parents of the alleged victim declined to prosecute after a 2007 complaint against Michael Henry Scott, and in 2015, police “inactivated” the case after the student who accused Scott recanted, leaving police without probable cause to search Scott’s computer for photos that would corroborate the student’s story.

Means said he planned to make the contents of the reports as public as legally possible.

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