KCK school board member calls for outside independent investigation

Dr. Valdenia Winn, a member of the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education, is calling for an outside independent investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination in the school district.

Dr. Winn said board members are very concerned about the allegations, and will be holding a special meeting on Tuesday morning. Dr. Winn believes many members of the community and district want to see an outside independent investigation.

When allegations of sexual harassment surfaced last week on social media, the school district launched an internal investigation into the incident. Many comments by parents and community members were made on the district’s social media. The district then invited the parents and students to make comments on a link to an existing form to report bullying and harassment that it had placed on its website at www.kckps.org, before the incident occurred.

Also, Superintendent Charles Foust has stated on the district’s website that he would like to meet with students about the issues and has set up meeting schedules at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b044cadad2aabf85-group.

A special school board meeting has been called for 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 30, on Zoom to discuss issues raised recently by parents and students. A meeting notice is at www.kckps.org. The meeting notice stated that the board will recess to an executive session, which is closed to the public, to discuss matters that are privileged under the attorney-client relationship.

Dr. Winn’s letter to the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education:

NO Discrimination, NO Sexual Harassment!

“TO: USD # 500 Board of Education

“Madam Chair and fellow members of the Board of Education:

“As an educator of more than 40 years and a citizen of Kansas City, Kansas, I am appalled at the recent allegations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment in our USD #500 schools. This is a very, very, serious matter.

“I am calling upon the Board of Education to authorize an immediate investigation by an Independent Outside Investigator to complete a thorough investigation and to recommend comprehensive reforms and actions. This can not be swept under the rug! It may indeed go back several years. We do not know!

“We owe it to our students, parents, staff, administrators, community and fellow board members to be completely accountable and transparent at all costs in these matters. Let the chips fall…!

“No form of sexual harassment will be tolerated by teachers, staff, administrators and or coaches. No remarks, physical advances and or unwelcomed behavior of a sexual or racial nature in schools or in any other settings will be tolerated. It is the LAW!

“Racism is defined as prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people based on their membership of a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. We need to stop this ignorance! We need to stop this behavior!

“We must act swiftly and thoroughly weed out the bad apples in our district. To repeat: I call for the Board of Education to hire an Independent Outside Investigator so that there can be a truly fair, thorough and impartial investigation. I hope that we will make this decision at the Special board meeting on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. If the Board of Education allows the investigation to be conducted “In House” …then it shows that the Board members are not serious about getting to the truth of these allegations. We need INDEPENDENT OUTSIDE INVESTIGATORS who will not protect anyone who is guilty…this investigation must be from the top to the bottom.

“Dr. Valdenia C. Winn
“USD #500 Board Member”

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