FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — An elementary school teacher on a Hawaiian Army base was kicked off campus after Army officials learned of allegations of misconduct against him, according to the Army American in Hawaii.
Military police were called to Solomon Elementary School in Schofield Barracks on Thursday morning after parents arrived at the school intending to remove their children after learning of the teacher’s return to school, according to several parents involved.
“Allegations that an adult touched students inappropriately fall under mandatory reporting and there should have been an immediate criminal investigation,” Jackie Martin, whose son attends Solomon, commented Thursday in a post about the incident on the US Army Garrison Hawaii Facebook page. “This school and Hawaii [Department of Education] had no right to keep this “investigation” in-house to go under the rug without informing the parents of the situation!”
She wrote that “more than a dozen” people reported misconduct by the teacher.
The school principal, meanwhile, says the allegations against the teacher have been investigated and found to be ‘unsubstantiated’ and that no child at the school is being charged. danger.
The U.S. Army Garrison in Hawaii said in a Facebook post late Thursday that base leaders only learned of the allegations against the teacher earlier in the day.
“The individual involved is not an employee of the United States military in Hawaii,” the military said. “We contacted our partners in [the Hawaii Department of Education] and they assured us that they were ahead in this situation.
All schools in Hawaii, even those located on military bases, are administered by the Hawaii Department of Education.
“As a first step, HI DoE has determined that, in the best interests of everyone involved, this particular DoE employee will not report to campus for the remainder of the school year,” the military said.
The school year ends on May 26.
As of Friday morning, the Army’s Facebook post had garnered almost 200 comments, many of them parents expressing frustration with the Department of Education over its handling of complaints about the teacher.
“Thank you US Army Garrison Hawaii and [Army Criminal Investigation Division] for taking the initiative that the school system has not taken to protect our children,” Martin said in his Facebook comment.
Many others expressed a preference for Solomon to be run by the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DODEA, which operates 160 schools on military installations in seven states, two territories and 11 foreign countries.
Solomon has approximately 750 students enrolled in kindergarten through fifth grade.
The school principal sent a letter to parents and staff on Thursday that appeared to respond to those trying to unenroll their children.
“This letter is being sent home to respond to inaccurate allegations about one of our employees posted online and on social media,” Tee Swan wrote.
“Although the Department has a policy of withholding details of personnel matters, Solomon Elementary must provide our community with accurate information,” Swan wrote.
“Eight months ago, complaints of serious misconduct against one of our teachers were brought before our administration,” he wrote.
The Department of Education’s Civil Rights Compliance Branch conducted an investigation, during which the teacher was placed on administrative leave and law enforcement was notified, he wrote.
“After conducting a factual investigation and interviewing the plaintiff, defendant and witnesses, the Department’s investigation concluded that the allegations could not be substantiated,” Swan wrote.
The teacher then returned to work at the school, but in a “different position”, he wrote.
Swan did not respond to an interview request on Friday. The Hawaii Department of Education did not respond to written questions submitted by Stars and Stripes.
The military was apparently not informed of the Department of Education’s investigation. A spokesman for the U.S. Army Garrison in Hawaii Friday declined to elaborate further on the matter.
A mother, Brittney Stohel, said in a Facebook comment on Thursday that parents were not notified when the investigation was closed or that the employee was back on school grounds.
After receiving no response from school officials, “we spoke loudly about it,” Stohel wrote.
In a Facebook post to Stars and Stripes, Stohel said Swan, the principal, “keeps calling deputies on parents” when they arrive on campus to ask questions or remove their children.
“Parents don’t do anything aggressive,” she said. “We just pull our kids out of school and ask a lot of questions they refuse to answer.”