4th Grader Claims Substitute Acted Inappropriately

Tuesday, March 11th 2008, 10:21 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa police are investigating a fourth-grader's claim that her substitute teacher touched her inappropriately.  The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports the incident allegedly happened Monday afternoon at Tulsa's McKinley Elementary School.

The 11-year-old girl and her parents filed a report with Tulsa Police Department Monday night.  Now, her family wants to warn others.

"I was in shock.  I immediately left for the school," said Debbie, the victim's grandmother.

Debbie, who didn't want to give her last name to protect her granddaughter's privacy, said she has a very scared fourth grader at home.  She said her granddaughter told her a substitute teacher at McKinley Elementary School touched her inappropriately.

"She did confide in somebody and they did the right thing. I'm very proud that they went to an adult and reported the matter," said Debbie.

Tulsa Public Schools confirms the girl did tell school officials she was touched in a way that made her uncomfortable.

But, a TPS spokesperson, in a statement, wrote:  "the touching the girl described was not overtly sexual in nature, but unacceptable to the student."

Tulsa Police investigators say the girl told them she was touched on her back and in her lap.

"I would construe that as a sexual move if it happened to me," said Debbie, the victim's grandmother.

TPS says a school official asked the girl to show them what happened and that description did not include potentially criminal allegations, so they did not call police.  But, they did tell the parents they could file a report, which they did.  Now, Debbie wants to warn other parents to be careful.

"There are other children out there and parents need to find out was he in their classroom," said Debbie.

The News On 6 is not identifying the substitute teacher because he has not been arrested or charged.

TPS says he was escorted from the building and will not be able to return to any school site, until the district can review the situation.

He denies the accusations.