Parents had complained since 2002 about Christopher Flores behaving inappropriately with the special needs kids under his care. A teacher's aide, Christopher Flores had routinely brought children to his home in the middle of the day - unsupervised, but instead of being fired, he was simply reassigned.
Allegations of yet another cover-up at yet another school are now surfacing, this time in a Norman, Oklahoma elementary school.
Parents say for more than a decade they have warned Norman school administrators and local police about violent and inappropriate conduct toward children by Christopher Ray Flores while he was a teacher's aide at Norman's Wilson Elementary School. They claim their complaints were ignored and covered up.*Triggering*
“You have another Sandusky event,” said Norman parent Kristofer Russow, referring to former Penn State University assistant football coach and convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky. “The warnings that we put out regarding this individual went completely unheeded.”
Warning Signs Unheeded
Flores worked in Carolyn Shave's classroom, who also engaged in inappropriate conduct with the children.
...lawsuits allege that Shave forced a male elementary school special needs student to “take her clothes off and massage her when the other children were at recess.”
They also allege that Flores slammed a special needs student's head through a glass door and that Flores and Shave used improper strangle holds on children and punished them by placing them in a dark isolation room, tying them down and placing socks in their mouths, and pressing their heads and bodies against the floor for extended times.
Karen Long, attorney for the school district, said allegations made in lawsuits aren't necessarily true.
The district settled all three federal lawsuits out of court with confidentiality agreements that prohibit litigants from revealing the amounts of the settlements or discussing evidence in the cases.
Over the past year, we have seen evidence come to light about institutions choosing to protect themselves rather than the innocent lives entrusted to their care.
Instead, institutions have covered up the allegations of abuse, creating perversion files, and moving predators to different troops, parishes or synagogues, allowing them to prey again upon unsuspecting innocents. The most important thing was to protect the image of the institution, allthewhile sacrificing the most vulnerable in our society.
The parents contend they made numerous complaints, but school administrators seemed more interested in protecting the district's image than students.
They also contend that police acted to protect Flores.
Either there is a much bigger problem with reports of child molestation in Norman Oklahoma or they were, in deed, trying to sweep these allegations under the rug.
Oh...you meant CHRIS Flores...
Norman police spokeswoman Jennifer Newell was similarly incensed at the cover-up allegation.Really? You have multiple parents lodging a complaint about inappropriate conduct with children and you're going to blame it on "Chris" vs. "Christopher" Flores? Is this really the best we can do by our kids?
Newell initially told The Oklahoman that 2007 was the first time the police department received abuse complaints against Christopher Flores.
The police chief wrote back Friday, saying her 2002 complaint against Flores had been located and was overlooked initially because the suspect was identified as “Chris Flores” rather than “Christopher Flores.”
Current DA Greg Mashburn states he wasn't in office in 2002, but as it relates to the 2007 investigation, it was his decision to not file charges.
...agents faced a difficult task in gathering reliable information because the primary witnesses were special needs children who had been talked to by parents, attorneys and others who could have influenced what they had to say.Of course - the victims are unreliable...because they're special needs kids - so why believe them, right? Not the fully functioning adult who had complaint after complaint lodged against him - he's not the unreliable one, it's the innocent children who are crying out for your help. Um, Sir, maybe if you took care of your own department and actually reviewed prior complaints, you might see a pattern emerging. Oh, you meant CHRIS Flores...