Former Perryville, MO principal accused of not reporting allegat - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Former Perryville, MO principal accused of not reporting allegations of student being raped

Richard Thomas (Source: Perryville Police Department) Richard Thomas (Source: Perryville Police Department)

A former principal in Perryville, Missouri is accused of not reporting allegations of a student being raped.

Richard Thomas is facing a misdemeanor charge of failure of mandated reporter to report child abuse/neglect or death of child under 18.

His initial arraignment is set for May 2 at 9 a.m. at the Perry County Courthouse.

According to court documents, Thomas was told about allegations of a student being raped but did not report the allegations to the Missouri Children's Division.

According to Kate Martin, communications director at Perry County School District 32, Thomas has been on administrative leave from the school district since Sept. 21, 2016, as a personnel matter.

Thomas has not been on campus or any school event since being placed on administrative leave.

Martin said on Dec. 14 the Board of Education voted unanimously to not rehire Thomas as principal of Perryville High School.  His contract expires on June 30, 2017.

Superintendent Andy Comstock released the following statement:

"While confidentiality laws prevent me from commenting about specific personnel, I can say, unequivocally, that our District values the safety of all children above all else.

"I can tell you that we follow all state and federal laws for mandated reporting, which are outlined in our staff handbooks and District policies. Furthermore, I can tell you that any such report of abuse of a student must be reported immediately to the Children’s Division via a call to the Abuse Hotline.  The District provides time and communications means for those reports to be made.

"Although I cannot comment on specific personnel, any deviation from the District’s policies in regards to the mandated reporting laws would result in swift disciplinary action.

"District 32 cooperates fully with law enforcement and Children's Division investigations that may involve students or staff. We trust in their process and timelines. Yes, some investigations can last months, and the District provides any and all information requested to facilitate that process. However, the District does not know the results of any investigation until its conclusion. The District does consider results of those investigations in personnel matters."

Jeff Steffens served as the interim high school principal and was hired as principal for the coming school year.

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