Police arrest 7 in City View ISD investigation
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Seven former and current City View ISD officials were arrested this week on charges of professional failure to make a required child abuse report.
The arrests on Wednesday included Superintendent Tony Bushong, Assistant Superintendent Carrie Allen, former Junior/Senior High School Principal Daryl Frazier, Athletic Director Rudy Hawkins, and Counselor Cindy Leaverton, while former Superintendent Steve Harris and former Principal Raymond Weathersbee were arrested on Thursday. The bonds for all seven people were set at $20,000 apiece, and all of them have bonded out.
“TEA is aware of the situation and is currently reviewing the matter to determine the appropriate next steps,” The Texas Education Agency said in a statement to News Channel 6.
An administration leave letter dated for Jan. 5, 2015, was reportedly signed by the teacher/coach who was under investigation. Court documents show Harris and Weathersbee signed the letter, as well as Counselor Cindy Leaverton and Athletic Director Rudy Hawkins, as we first reported on Wednesday.
In an interview with Harris, he reportedly told investigators he remembered the incident and did not think he had to contact police until he knew the outcome of his interviews with the student and her parents.
Investigators also interviewed Weathersbee, who allegedly told them he remembered the incident about misconduct and said it happened within a 2012-2014 timeframe. Weathersbee said due to the victim denying the allegation and the parents not wanting to proceed, “we just dropped it,” according to court documents.
Court documents state the investigation “focuses on the persistent failures to report sexual misconduct by administrators at City View ISD of multiple incidents over an 8-year span.” The investigation reportedly revealed that no reports of sexual misconduct by a City View ISD teacher/coach were ever submitted to law enforcement by school district administrators.
An affidavit states it appears the administrators’ “persistent failure” to make the legally required reports of information they possessed about possible sexual misconduct enabled the teacher/coach to remain employed by the district and have continued access to students from 2014 to 2022.
In an interview with Bushong, he reportedly confirmed to investigators that he and two school officials interviewed a student who was a friend of the victims. According to court documents, Bushong gave investigators hand-written notes written by Leaverton from the interview that were dated for May 17, 2018. The documents reportedly said the interview involved specific language referring to sexual acts. Court documents state Frazier and Allen were also present.
Bushong then told investigators he and a school official traveled to a Wichita Falls ISD high school to speak with one of the victims. A date for this meeting was not noted in the arrest affidavit. During this interview, Bushong reportedly said the victim denied having an improper relationship with the teacher/coach. Bushong allegedly stated nothing more was done since the allegations were unfounded. The teacher/coach was then put on administrative leave for the second time, with the letter dated for June 27, 2022.
In 2022, detectives spoke with two additional female victims. They told police they had reported sexual misconduct against the same teacher/coach in 2018, and the school officials at the time failed to do anything. Both victims allegedly named Bushong as one of the school officials they talked to about the allegations.
In a statement, City View ISD officials said they will hold a school board meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, 2023, and will hold a discussion about the arrests and how they will move forward.
“In the meantime, each of the school district campuses and departments are led by capable and qualified leaders who will continue to manage and lead their areas, as they would during any time an administrator might take leave or vacation,” City View ISD officials said in the statement. “Similarly, all our sports teams are coached by great coaches who will continue to lead their teams in practices and competitions.”
To view the school’s full statement, click here.
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