MO. KIRKWOOD — St. John Vianney High School in Kirkwood sent letters to families informing them of an inappropriate Tuesday interaction between a student, the school nurse, and the athletic department assistant.
According to the notification, the employee breached the school’s social media policy by privately engaging with children.
Because she had not been accused of a crime as of Wednesday, 5 On Your Side withholds the woman’s name.
When 5 On Your Side emailed the school to inquire about their efforts to stop situations like this, they received the following response:
“St. John Vianney High School received a report that an employee of the school engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student. Upon receiving the report, the employee was removed from campus and the school immediately contacted the Missouri Department of Social Services and Kirkwood Police Department. The individual is no longer employed by Vianney, and the school is fully cooperating with authorities and their investigation.”
“As a Catholic, Marianist school our first priority is our students and their wellbeing.”
Coming out has increased, but Amy Robins, director of forensic services for the Child Advocacy Center of Northeast Missouri, called it a “bittersweet trend.”
“What I feel like used to happen a lot or previously is that you would give that perpetrator the benefit or the doubt or I must have saw that wrong or that couldn’t be happening or that text wasn’t intentional,” Robins said.
The expert talked about how technology is used in manipulative instances.
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“So, before you had to basically have an opportunity to be able to isolate, manipulate, gather the trust of that child in order to move to those acts, now online, we’re seeing that happen within seconds of a friend request,” Robins added.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) additionally provided the following response to 5 On Your Side, which is as follows:
“Under Missouri law, the Department of Social Services must contact appropriate law enforcement agencies when it receives a report that merits investigation. Law enforcement agencies may co-investigate or provide other assistance. Information related to specific child abuse and neglect investigations is closed and confidential under Missouri law, except under very limited circumstances (please see §210.150 RSMo).”
DSS strongly advises anybody suspicious of child abuse or neglect to contact us at 1-800-392-3738. The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is staffed around the clock all year.
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