Blue Earth Area (BEA) School District officials and Winnebago police took it on the chin at the last board meeting.
John Schavey, a 1989 graduate, criticized BEA administrators for allowing police to interview students at the high school regarding an alleged assault of a football player last October by four teammates.
Schavey also questioned school officials why they were also conducting their own investigation.
“How do you think the day went for the kids in the building, wondering if they were going to be called down to the office by administrators or police,” Schavey asked the board.
“This is not fostering a learning environment and has been a huge distraction to the kids in the building,” he adds.
But, Police Chief Eric Olson says his department has guidelines they follow when juveniles are involved in any type of case.
“Parents were notified and allowed to be present before interviewing any juvenile,” he says. “If parents are not present, they have consented to us talking with the juvenile.”
Superintendent Evan Gough did not respond to requests to comment on whether district officials conducted their own investigation. And, if they did, what was the reason for doing so.
The four students charged with assault and aiding and abetting assault were suspended from school for 10 days and are not being allowed to participate or practice in sports.
One of the teens has transferred to the Maple River School District, while another reportedly has moved to Des Moines.
Meanwhile, Olson says investigation of the alleged assault that occurred on Oct. 19 at a house party in Winnebago remains on-going.
“We are still working hard to gather all the facts of this case,” Olson says.
Police started looking into the incident after being contacted on Nov. 9 by the school district’s resource officer DJ Bullerman about an assault that had occurred in the city.