DC Schools Investigating 9 Cases of Sex Harassment, Misconduct

D.C.'s Deputy Mayor for Education did not release the names of the schools where the alleged misconduct occurred

At least six employees of D.C. Public Schools have engaged in sex harassment or other sex misconduct since January 2018, according to a newly released letter from D.C.’s deputy mayor for education.

In a letter to neighborhood advisory commissioners and other community leaders, Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn said two of the six employees who were investigated were fired. Another person resigned. And three others remain on the job.

Additionally, three other sex harassment allegations still are under investigation.

The letter does not specify the schools at which the cases occurred, but it acknowledges the District government is unable to track the number of sex misconduct incidents prior to January 2018.

The District government has been under scrutiny from community leaders for its tracking of sex misconduct by public schools teachers, partly because a 2017 News4 I-Team investigation revealed that D.C. education officials were not revoking the licenses of teachers who had engaged in sex misconduct. The I-team report also found District education officials opted not to publicly post records of sex misconduct investigations against teachers.

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Denise Krepp, who represents part of the Capitol Hill community, said D.C.. education leaders should provide details about the nature of the misconduct cases and the schools at which they occurred.

"The hazard in this case is somebody who commits sex harassment or assault. Parents want to know if those incidents happen in [their] school," she said.

In a series of emails, Krepp asked the deputy mayor’s office to specify the schools at which the misconduct occurred. In a response to Krepp, Kihn said, "I have reached out to legal counsel to determine an answer to this question."

In the emails, Kihn also described a series of hurdles preventing the District from tabulating and formally tracking the number and locations of sex misconduct incidents prior to January 2018. Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered a new system for collecting sex misconduct data in D.C. Public Schools in January 2018.

In a statement issued to the I-Team, Kihn said "The District takes the safety and well-being of our youth extremely seriously. Mayor Bowser and our whole administration have made it a priority to expand preventative safety measures to protect students and vulnerable populations."

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