Three school officials from Maxwell, accused of not thoroughly investigating allegations of student sexual abuse, have avoided criminal charges by agreeing to go through staff training.
An agreement has been reached to keep Maxwell Public Schools Superintendent Danny Twarling, High School Principal Aubrey Boucher and Wrestling Coach Ryan Jones from facing charges.
North Platte attorney Bob Lindemeier, who represents Twarling and Boucher, says the agreement was reached between the school board and the Lincoln County Attorney’s office.
“This has been a tough issue for the community and I think this agreement will start to mend some fences and get some people back together again,” Lindemeier tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Lindemeier declines to address the validity of the allegation; that a member of the high school wrestling team was held down by teammates and sodomized with a soda bottle. The allegations surfaced in August of 2011 and February of this year. A Nebraska State Patrol investigation found that the three school officials had been told about the allegation, but had failed to properly follow up. The school conducted an internal investigation, but did not alert local law enforcement or state officials.
“Obviously, there was the argument back and forth between the two sides as to whether or not anything actually happened, but the bottom line was should it have been reported? That’s what we want to make sure happens in the future,” Lindemeier says.
Lindemeier says the agreement focuses on the school district’s reaction to the allegation. He says students don’t need to be pulled in different directions. They need stability.
“And so, it’s time for the adults to step up and start to put aside their differences and move on with this,” Lindemeier says. “Hopefully, they do that and the kids will benefit from it.”
The agreement requires the school contact local law enforcement or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service when allegations of abuse arise.
Staff will be offered training by the DHHS, the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office, as well as the Maxwell Board of Education and its attorney. In-service days will be structured to allow employees to tour the Bridge of Hope Advocacy Center.
AUDIO: Attorney Bob Lindemeier discusses the Maxwell High School agreement. [2 min.]