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warning, triggers follow

Last summer, Michael Alexander, a third-grade teacher at Hildebran Elementary School in Hildebran, North Carolina--about an hour north of Charlotte--was arrested for taking part in an international child porn ring.  Alexander took several sexually explicit pictures of little girls and posted them online, sexually assaulted them and made them drink bodily fluids.  He was tracked down after Europol agents noticed pictures of several girls wearing Hildebran T-shirts while busting a child porn ring based in Spain.  A month after his arrest, Alexander pleaded guilty and was sentenced to almost 50 years in prison--a sentence that all but assures he will die there.  He could also face federal charges as well.

Now the Burke County School Board, the former principal of Alexander's school, and a school guidance counselor face two separate lawsuits alleging that they knew what Alexander was doing and did nothing to stop it.

According to the suits filed Monday, school officials had not only been informed once, but multiple times, of Alexander’s illegal activities with children.

One suit alleges a male student, identified only as N.C., was isolated from the rest of his classmates by Alexander and forced to watch images of women and animals engaged in various acts of bestiality.

According to the suit, “N.C. was so disturbed by the images Defendant Alexander showed him that he went home from school crying and told his father.”

But when N.C.'s father complained to principal Wendi Barber, Barber's response was jaw-dropping.
N.C.’s father reportedly went to Hildebran Elementary School the following day and told officials there that his son had been exploited by Alexander, but school Barber told him nothing could be done.

“Defendant Barber’s deliberate indifference to N.C.’s abuse, reported to her by (his father), violated several explicit provisions of BCPS’s Policy Manual requiring her to protect N.C. by, at a minimum, reporting the allegations to the superintendent and police authorities,” the suit reads.

According to The Charlotte Observer, Barber not only did nothing, but kept N.C. in Alexander's class for the rest of the year.  Nope, you read that right.  A principal was told that a teacher made a student watch images of bestiality, and kept that student in the teacher's class for the rest of the year.  In what world is this not child endangerment?

The other suit was filed by the parents of a girl who was one of the subjects of Alexander's pictures and films when she was eight years old.  She was also sexually assaulted by Alexander.  So naturally, she went to guidance counselor Linda Bradshaw to complain about it.

L.B. reportedly made several overtures to contact Hildebran officials, telling school counselor Bradshaw that several of the other girls in her class had begun to tease and bully her because of Alexander’s obvious favoritism.

“Around the same time that L.B. went to Defendant Bradshaw with her complaints of being bullied,” the suit reads, “another of Defendant Alexander’s victims, L.B.’s classmate, complained to Defendant Bradshaw that she was being inappropriately touched by Defendant Alexander.”

The lawsuit alleges that Bradshaw did nothing to investigate or report the child’s complaint. Her silence, if factual, violated no less than six explicit provisions of the school district’s manual requiring her to protect the students in her charge.

This comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed in October that alleges another girl told Bradshaw that Alexander molested her and made her drink his fluids.  Bradshaw's alleged response?  She sent her back to Alexander's class.  Again, I ask--in what world is this not child endangerment?

It's hard not to draw parallels between this and the Jerry Sandusky case--Sounds like a lot of people have a lot of explaining to do.  And one can hope this results in Barber and Bradshaw being brought up on criminal charges as well.

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