Neshaminy faces accusations of mishandling sexual assault and harassment cases

Grace Marion, Editor-in-Chief

According to Robert McGee, current principal of Neshaminy High School, when “…someone files a complaint against a teacher…[the complaints] go into the student’s file, as far as keeping them… they’re investigated” and they’re kept “…as long as the student is in the school…” These incident reports are not stored in the files of the teachers whom they were filed against.
This system of filing explains why, when the Playwickian filed a Right-to-Know request with the School District requesting the copies of complaints against specific teachers whom students had reported filing incident reports against, Neshaminy School District denied the request because “The District is not required to create a record that does not exist,” as was stated in the School District’s reply in October of 2016. McGee says “When we get [Right-to-Know requests at the High School] we give [District Offices] whatever we have” to be returned.
Schools should be keeping all records of sexual misconduct on the part of employees in the same place says Charol Shakeshaft, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor of Educational Leadership and researcher of the standard of care for the prevention of educator sexual misconduct.
“You put them all in one place so you can track the complaints so that you can make sure that if there’s a pattern you’re on it,” says Shakeshaft.
Although this appears to be a simple miscommunication between filing systems, there have been other reports of administrators at Neshaminy School District improperly handling issues within schools.
One Neshaminy senior says that after she was sexually assaulted on a Neshaminy school bus on the way to school, she “…was advised from both Doc and Richey [sic] and the arresting officer to not pursue any other charges” than harassment and said that her “victim statement against [her attacker] was practically thrown away.” McGee has yet to respond to these claims.
When she originally reported the assault she was sent back to class, despite what she says was visible distress. “The school did not pull the tapes from the bus or call [the Middletown Police Department] until after I was sent to class and got hit in the hallway by the same person who [had] assaulted me that morning,” she states.
Joseph Jones, Superintendent of Neshaminy School District, reports that the school District has full access to all bus surveillance.
Bucks County’s District Attorney, Matthew Weintraub, said that “no citizen should ever be discouraged from making a complaint to the police” and that it is never appropriate for a police officer or a school administrator to discourage a student from pressing criminal charges.