Grand Jury Indicts Three At East Robertson Elementary

SEE UPDATES BELOW:

“We have no doubt of the innocence of these educators and that they will be cleared of all charges.” Robertson County Schools

Three Indicted for “Failure To Report Sex Abuse” At East Robertson Elementary

According to the Robertson County Sheriff’s office, Three East Robertson Elementary School faculty members; Principal Renae Fehrman, Assistant Principal Kecia Young, and RobertsonLadies a FIXED County Schools Administrator Donna Dorris turned themselves into the Robertson County Detention Facility Tuesday afternoon after warrants were issued for their arrest. The three have been Indicted by a the Robertson County Grand Jury for failure to report alleged child sex abuse after an investigation by the Robertson County Sheriff’s office. Bonds were set at $1,000 each, and all three made bond and were released. Their arraignments are set for May 3rd 2013.

school slider 1 This is a breaking story and we are still piecing it together but unofficially we understand the situation of alleged sex abuse took place between two students and no adults were involved. Both the alleged victim(s) and the perpetrator(s) involved were first and second graders (6 to 7 years old) at East Robertson Elementary. East Robertson is a Kindergarten through 5th grade school. The indictments are for allegedly failing to report the situation. These are new allegations, possibly stemming from an investigation last February that involved “Sexual Bullying” but since all agencies are legally bard from commenting on cases involving minors you can’t be absolutely sure it’s the same case as some agencies are reporting. For Smokey’s coverage of the “Sexual Bullying” case back in February click here.

According to a letter released by Robertson County Schools, the district cooperated fully with the Sheriff’s Office during their investigation. The letter also states that Robertson County Schools are standing behind the three educators stating that they  “have no doubt of the innocence of these educators and that they will be cleared of all charges.”

UPDATE: May 2, 2013 Thursday 12:00PM
Jim Ball reporting
BREAKING:
The three East Robertson Elementary School faculty members; Principal Renae Fehrman, Assistant Principal Kecia Young, and Robertson County Schools Administrator Donna Dorris all plead not guilty this morning at their arraignments. A settlement date has been scheduled for July 12.

UPDATE: Wednesday April 24th 2013

Jim Ball reporting

Smokey spoke to Robertson County Assistant District Attorney B. Dent Morris this morning. Mr. Morris clarified that this is not a Felony case, it’s a class A Misdemeanor. Also, this case is not about child sexual misconduct, it’s about following reporting procedures. When (or if) a teacher believes that there has been any sexual misconduct involving a child they must (by law) report the situation to the Department of Children’s Services. The Robertson County School administration allegedly side-stepped that procedure. R.C. School’s did conduct their own investigation but allegedly did not report the situation to D.C.S. “There may be no misconduct at all, but if you suspect there could have been then, you call D.C.S and let them do their job” Morriss said. That’s what this case is revolving around, reporting.

As far as the disposition of the three educators during the litigation process, the Robertson County School administration have chosen not suspend them. The three educators are taking the day off Wednesday but will be back to work on Thursday, according to Jim Bellis, Robertson County Schools Communications Coordinator.

In this case Robertson County School’s has clearly chosen to stand behind the actions of their faculty members, they don’t always do that. In the last year there have been two other situations involving alleged student teacher situations where Robertson County School’s chose not to stand behind faculty alleged actions. Back on April 5th a teacher at a Springfield Middle School resigned after a report alleging misconduct with a student. The case was never prosecuted and the teacher resigned, but the Robertson County School’s reaction was (according to Jim Bellis the Communications Coordinator) ”It is likely that the report would have placed her job in jeopardy”

Then back in March a teacher acting as a chaperone was allegedly intoxicated during a field trip. Again there were no arrests and no one was prosecuted. Robertson County School’s reaction was however not so generous. In that case Robertson County Schools ”requested, received and accepted the resignation” of the teacher involved, according to a press release provided by the School District rep.

My point is that with all the media attention this case is getting and considering the type of case this is, it’s important to have a good look at the facts. If you would like to read the specifications of a civil lawsuit filed by the parents from Smokey’s original coverage of this story-> click here. It outlays the allegations that allegedly took place between the children and the schools reaction.

UPDATE: July 12, 2013

The three were in court on Friday, July 12. The  settlement date for their case has been moved back  to Aug. 23.

Jim Ball reporting

To see the Robertson County Schools and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office press releases in this case see below. 

SheriffFor Immediate Release
April 24, 2013

As a result of recent investigations, three employees of the Robertson County School System were indicted by the Robertson County Grand Jury for Failure to Report Alleged Child Sex Abuse. The three employees are Kecia Young, Renae Fehrman and Donna Dorris. All three surrendered themselves yesterday afternoon to the Robertson County Detention Facility on $1,000 bond. Arraignments are set for May 3, 2013. Any further inquiries into this case should be directed to the District Attorney’s Office.
CONTACT:
Ryan Martin
Public Information Officer

______________________________________________

Robertson County Schools

2121 Woodland Street ♦ Springfield, TN

37172 ♦ Phone (615) 384-5588 ♦ Fax (615) 384-9749

Dan Whitlow, Director

Contact: Jim Bellis, Communications Coordinator

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RC SCHOOLS

East Robertson Elementary School Principal Renae Fehrman, Assistant Principal Kecia Young, and Robertson County Schools Administrator Donna Dorris appeared at the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office today, Tuesday, April 23, in response to indictments by the Robertson County Grand Jury.

The indictments resulted from an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office into alleged failures regarding reporting practices to law enforcement officials and the Department of Children’s Services.

Robertson County Schools cooperated fully with the Sheriff’s Office during their investigation. As a district, we are shocked that the Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office have pursued this matter to this point after examining the documented facts. Based on those facts as provided to the Sheriff’s Office we have no doubt of the innocence of these educators and that they will be cleared of all charges.

Robertson County Schools will continue to cooperate in whatever way necessary to bring this issue to a speedy conclusion. We know our administrators have the best interest of our students at heart and are confident this will be demonstrated through whatever proceedings ensue.

As this is a judicial matter, we would refer additional questions to the Robertson County District Attorney’s Office.

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Latest Comments
  1. KB

    This whole situation just sickens me . The teachers may have been good people but they still did not report the abuse which by LAW they are required to do so. Also, it shouldn’t matter where the parents of the victims work at because they are not the ones at fault. Why do people keep protecting the ones that are at fault and shame the victims? Robertson county schools are protecting the teachers when it should be the county protecting the children.

  2. Dan

    It’s easy to throw out comments like “if this were my child I would have done this and so on”. We all want to protect our own and have a safe place for our children to go to school. We want to have qualified and caring people leading our schools. I think we have that. These 3 individuals are qualified caring employees of the School System and have been for quite sometime. That’s why the people who know them in community and who work with them everyday are standing behind them. Let’s don’t be judge, jury and executioner before all the facts are out.

  3. Parent of Child at East Robertson

    I think that it is ridiculous that these 3 women get to carry on their jobs as normal. Obvisiously they don’t care too much about the kids safety if they didn’t report it. Plus, the kids that were doing it were not even expelled or anything. Let’s just sweep it under the rug. If my child was affected, you better believe that there would be a lawsuit involved and that child had better been put somewhere away from other kids.

    • Also a Parent at East Robertson

      You don’t know that it was never reported or that the accused children were never disciplined. It just wasn’t done in the way that the accusing families wanted. They wanted to know what was done to the other children but were not told. Administrators are not allowed to discuss the records of other children with you, only your own child’s records. Nothing was swept under a rug. The administration has to respect the privacy of ALL children, and that is all they were trying to do.

  4. nobody

    After reading the lawsuit filed , you can notice the name of the father of one of the alleged victims is missing. Could that be because he is an employee for the Robertson County Sheriffs Office. Interesting huh???

    • For the Administrators

      The job I’m at is not keeping my wife in fake nails, Honey, lets sue the hand that is feeding us. My Co- workers will back me up, I’m the shortest one on the job.

    • someone who cares about the children

      Maybe that is why they could not push it under the rug anymore, they had someone who by law had to report it. And if you knew anything at all he is the stepfather. Also if they did what they were suppose to and did not do anything wrong, then why are they trying to plea out. Innocent people don’t ask for a plea.