District guided investigator in probe

Local News

A Blue Earth Area School Board member who claims district officials had input into an investigation may have been right after all.

“The School District did provide a partial list of issues that were being raised by others related to the matter,” says former Superintendent Evan Gough.

Board member Jeremy Coxworth has said in the past that an investigator was given “bullet points” to follow to determine whether the district responded properly after learning on Nov. 6 that a football player was assaulted by four teammates.

Although district officials received guidance from legal counsel and the Minnesota State High School League, they had some concerns.

In an e-mail to Tripelanews.com, Gough provides the following questions that school officials wanted Soldo Consulting, P.C., to address:

  • Did the school handle the initial report appropriately? Some have questioned whether this was a mandated reporting situation.
  • Did the school “sweep this under the rug?”
  • Was the school really able to open a second investigation?
  • Did the investigation rely on hearsay?
  • Why did the school allow the boys to play in a football game on November 10, 2017?
  • Was the punishment handled properly?
  • School districts work under the preponderance of evidence whereas the court system must prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Did the district follow appropriately?

In her findings, Michelle Soldo concludes the district conducted timely and thorough preliminary and expanded investigations for more than a month.

In a letter to the board, Soldo wrote, “Speculation, conjecture and uninformed allegations that district actions were not prompt and appropriate are refuted by the record.”

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