The Burke County school district is responding to lawsuits that accuse leaders of knowing an elementary school teacher was sexually abusing school children and failed to act.
The district launched its internal investigation after the first suit was filed last fall. Earlier Tuesday, officials said they found no wrongdoing and gave Eyewitness News a response to the first suit.
On the front page of the school system's response, their attorney makes it clear they want a jury to hear the case. Throughout the court documents, the district uses the word “denied” more than 100 times when answering the allegations in the suit, including the most damaging one -- that a counselor at Hildebran Elementary knew Michael Alexander was abusing a student but didn't do anything about it.
“We found no wrongdoing on our part so far,” said Assistant Superintendent Milland Bradley. “Certainly if there are new allegations, we'll look into that matter.”
The most recent lawsuits filed Monday in federal court in Charlotte claim the former principal there should have taken action after a student's father complained about inappropriate images shown in class.
“I want to believe it never happened,” said mother Jenny Frye. “I want to believe it. But it is hard hearing the things we've heard.”
Parents at the school on Tuesday said the community is still healing from what happened.
The guidance counselor and the principal still work for the school system. Danny Stephens, whose daughter is a kindergartner, supports the leadership there despite the allegations in the lawsuits.
“I believe Hildebran Elementary is a great school,” Stephens said. “If I didn't think it was a great, quality school I wouldn't leave my child here.”
The school district just started reviewing the lawsuits Tuesday. They said if they find new allegations of wrongdoing, they will start a new internal investigation.