Changes coming to La Vernia ISD after 13 students arrested for sexual assault
Students allege being hazed by classmates
LA VERNIA, Texas – Two months after the first sexual assault arrests because of hazing, La Vernia Independent School District announced Monday night it will now investigate if any teachers or coaches should also be held responsible.
At the last scheduled board meeting of the school year, Superintendent Jose Moreno said the time has come to find if those tasked with looking after their students were also looking the other way.
"I want to provide an update and clarification on the progress of the sexual assault allegations." Moreno said.
He said the Texas Rangers prevented him from acting earlier.
Since news broke of the investigation, 13 students have been arrested.
"We were basically given, even from the initial start, given certain restrictions, and that was from the very beginning of this investigation,” he said. “We could not begin our own internal investigation, so we wouldn't overlap."
Moreno said the district will take direction from investigators on which employees they should look at.
The district will judge them by the Teachers Code of Ethics, school board policy and district regulations.
A federal lawsuit filed by one of the victims alleges at least one football coach knew what was happening and warned the players to stop.
CONTINUING COVERAGE: Here's what we know about the La Vernia hazing lawsuit
"I don't see how they couldn't have (known what was happening)," parent Stephen McNeill said after the board meeting. "And if they didn't they should have. Why were the students left unsupervised?"
Also, starting Monday, the district started paying for a full-time police officer to be stationed at the high school.
"That's definitely something that I know that our community is calling for (and) I know our board trustees supports completely," Moreno said.
The district will also be creating a new anonymous bully reporting system students can use with their smartphones.
Moreno said he doesn’t know if there will be any more arrests, but the Texas Rangers are in still in school every day interviewing students.
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