DC

DC Charter School Principal Charged With Failing to Promptly Report Sex Abuse Allegation

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The principal of a major D.C. public charter school is facing a criminal charge over her handling of an allegation of sex abuse by a teacher.  

According to court and police records reviewed by the News-4 I-Team, Kipp DC College Prep Principal Andhra Lutz is accused of waiting nearly a week before notifying child protective services about a student’s abuse allegation against a male teacher in October 2018.

The criminal charge is the first “failure to report” prosecution filed by the D.C. Attorney General since 2015 in the District of Columbia, according to records reviewed by the News-4 I-Team.

D.C. code requires school employees to promptly notify authorities about suspicions or allegations of child abuse. 

Police reports reviewed by the I-Team said a female student told Lutz on October 18, 2018 of an incident of sexual contact by a male teacher. The reports said the student accused the teacher of rubbing up against her, causing her arm to come into contact with his penis through clothing. 

The police report said prosecutors declined to file charges against the teacher. In a statement, KIPP DC said the school’s internal investigation of the allegation did not find a violation of standards. The teacher has returned to work, after being placed on a leave of absence, the school said.

According to a separate police affidavit, officers also investigated Lutz for her handling of the case. The affidavit said Lutz waited six days before reporting the student’s allegation to child protective services.

KIPP DC said the school “investigated the claim, informed the appropriate city officials as mandated, and included the student and parent throughout the process.” The school said Lutz acted professionally.  She declined to comment.

The D.C. Attorney General filed a criminal charge in August against Lutz. 

In D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday, Lutz entered into an agreement with the D.C. Attorney General to have the charge dismissed, if she and school staff undergo additional training sessions on “mandatory reporting.”  

“In the training session with staff, the defendant agrees to discuss historical examples of mandatory reporter issues that have arisen at KIPP,” according to court records signed by Lutz and the D.C. Attorney General’s office.

A spokeswoman for the D.C. Public Charter School Board said the board was notified about the incident, but did not specify when.

A spokeswoman for the Office of State Superintendent said her agency was not notified. 

KIPP DC College Prep has nearly 800 students and about 80 teachers, according to on-line records. It serves high school students at its campus in northeast D.C.

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