Thursday, January 9, 2003

Lakota will cooperate in investigation

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Lakota School officials say they will cooperate with a U.S. Department of Education investigation of a civil rights complaint filed against the district last year.

Last fall, a parent contacted the federal department regarding Freedom Elementary School Principal David Tobergte's handling of alleged sexual harassment of a group of second-grade girls by male classmates on the school playground between February and June of 2002. The parent said Wednesday he was told the U.S. Department of Education would begin investigating his complaint this month.

The Enquirer is not naming the parent or any of the children involved.

U.S. Department of Education spokesman Roger Murphey confirmed there is an open case being investigated by the department. But he declined to comment further, because it is policy not to discuss open cases until the investigation has concluded.

Mr. Tobergte got a written reprimand for his handling of the situation. The West Chester Township Police Department also investigated the matter at the parents' request but concluded Mr. Tobergte acted appropriately.

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