Updated: Student says principal dismissed claims of teacher sexting
Updated On: Nov 22 2013 05:16:30 PM CST
FROM PUEBLO CITY SCHOOLS:
"Contrary to statements and implications in the media about alleged inaction by Mr. Aaron Bravo, principal, and the administration at South High School, both an internal and police investigation were in fact conducted in September and October, 2012. Claims of inappropriate text messaging were made by a parent in September, 2012, but no evidence established any wrongdoing. The same parent then complained to the Pueblo Police Department which conducted its own, independent incident investigation. The conclusion by the Police Department was that there was no proof of any inappropriate actions.
Based upon information that we obtained during our inquiry at that time and since, we believe that criticism of how these investigations were handled is unjustified and we remain satisfied that Aaron Bravo, other District administrators, and the Police acted in a professional and conscientious manner.
The School District’s highest priority is student safety. While we always strive for continuous improvement, we believe that the procedures we have in place, as previously outlined, were appropriate and followed."
A South High School senior said she told Principal Aaron Bravo last year that a teacher was sexting with students and was threatened with suspension.
Larisa Oringdulph was put on paid administrative leave after police notified the school that she had admitted to kissing and sexting with a student. Pueblo City Schools didn't fire Oringdulph even after police finished their investigation. Oringdulph's husband said she resigned for personal reasons.
The student wanted to remain anonymous because of what she said happened in December when she approached Bravo. She said last year a group of students and parents told Bravo that Oringdulph was sexting with students. She said they even showed Bravo semi-nude photos of Oringdulph.
"[Bravo] said there would be a further investigation, but we never heard anything of it. The parents called in and checked and there was never any word," the student said.
She said Bravo told the students to drop the accusations or they would be suspended from their sports teams. The school district wouldn't tell KRDO when it first heard about allegations against Oringdulph.
According to police reports, Oringdulph said she "got in trouble" with the vice principal for texting with a student in September.
On Oct.1, police began looking into complaints. Police finished their investigation on Oct. 24 and found she didn't commit a crime. The next day, police told the school their investigation was complete. At that point, Oringdulph had already admitted to police that she kissed and sexted with a student.
The following Monday, Oct. 28, the district put Oringdulph on paid administrative leave. She was on paid leave for nine days until she resigned on Nov. 7.
The student KRDO spoke to said she wants to know why Oringdulph wasn't fired. "She should have her teaching license revoked," she said. "Your teacher is somebody you're supposed to trust and go to and how do you go to somebody when you don't know what they're doing? They could be sexting their students. I wouldn't feel comfortable with it."
KRDO has asked to speak to Bravo and administrators repeatedly. Both declined to comment.
The district paid Oringdulph during her leave and when she resigned, she also got paid for time she had accumulated while working there.
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