The Perry County School District reported Wednesday morning that some district employees had been removed from campus after reports of what was described as “behaviors that are not in line with our district values and policies.”
In a letter emailed to district parents and guardians late Tuesday night, district superintendent Andy Comstock described the situation in limited detail.
“After receiving this report, the district took immediate and substantial steps in response by removing the employees from district property and preventing future access to our schools, students, and records,” Comstock wrote.
Comstock went on to add that the district had notified the proper authorities — in this case, the Perryville Police Department and the Division of Family Services — and asked them to conduct an immediate investigation.
“As these agencies investigate this matter, we will monitor the situation closely and take any further actions that are necessary,” Comstock wrote in the letter.
When contacted Wednesday morning, PCSD communication director Kate Martin said she could not provide any specifics about the case. Sources indicate that it did not involve any form of inappropriate contact between the staff members and students.
“The district will not comment further on a matter under investigation,” Martin told the Republic-Monitor. “We took immediate action to report the allegations and are fully supporting the investigation.”
Perryville Police spokesman Cpl. Jeri Cain confirmed that an investigation into possible criminal charges is underway.
“We do have an ongoing investigation,” Cain said, declining to comment further.
According to Martin, the staff members have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
“As your superintendent, I want you to know that I place the care and safety of your children above all else,” Comstock wrote. “We have high expectations of professionalism for our staff. Safety is of the utmost importance to our district and we remain keenly focused on our commitment to provide a quality education in a safe environment for all of our students.”
Comstock stressed that, going forward, district staff will be given additional training about district values and policies.
“As we approach mid-year, this is the perfect time to reflect on our responsibilities, such as being mandated reporters,” Comstock wrote. “We will continue our discussions about what we mean when we tell our children, ‘If you see something, say something’ and how that affects us as professionals.
“I will continue to work with the Superintendent’s Council on Positive Culture, made up of community members, parents and staff, to identify ways we can better support the physical, mental and emotional wellness of our school family.”