P. 1
Hisd Principal 2 Administrators 1 Teacher Involved in Sexual Assault Case

Hisd Principal 2 Administrators 1 Teacher Involved in Sexual Assault Case

|Views: 6|Likes:
Published by Editor

More info:

Published by: Editor on Nov 22, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Sharpstown High School Principal Rob Gasparello is shown at the school in 2010.

(Nathan Lindstrom/For the Chronicle)

Sharpstown principal, 2 administrators accused of failing to report abuse
Houston Chronicle By Ericka Mellon, Cindy George | November 21, 2013 | Updated: November 22, 2013 9:07am Texas law requires "professionals," including teachers, administrators and other school workers, to report allegations of child abuse directly to the proper authorities within 48 hours.

The lauded principal of Sharpstown High School and two other administrators were charged Thursday, accused of failing to tell police that students reported being sexually assaulted - in at least one case by a teacher, according to court records. Assistant principals Jason Thomson, 28, and Silvio Leiva, 50, were accused in criminal complaints of not reporting accusations by at least one male student in October that a Sharpstown teacher touched him inappropriately on campus. In a separate incident the same month, Principal Rob Gasparello, 58, is accused of not telling law enforcement authorities that a 16-year-old female student said she was sexually assaulted before school, according to a criminal complaint. The document does not say whether the alleged abuser was a Sharpstown employee. Gasparello, a high-profile leader who has overseen an academic turnaround effort at Sharpstown, told police that he asked the female student to write down what happened, the complaint states. But he did not report the allegation to law enforcement or Child Protective Services, it says. Gasparello was arrested on the campus about 3:30 p.m., according to the Houston Independent School District. He was charged with three counts of failure to report child abuse. He later was released on $1,500 bail. Thomson and Leiva each was charged with one count and released on $1,000 bail.

The male teacher who is accused of inappropriately touching at least one male student is expected to be formally charged with three felonies, according to court documents. HISD spokeswoman Tiffany Davila-Dunne said Friday morning that the district is cooperating with the HPD investigation but has no additional details. Gasparello has been placed on non-school duties elsewhere in the district while the investigation is ongoing. Bill Moore, the Sharpstown dean of students, has been placed as administrator in charge of the campus. Moore is a veteran administrator with HISD. The district has sent out information to parents about Moore and his role. Friday morning, classes proceeded as normal on the campus. Additional administrators were available if students wanted to speak to them. 48-hour report window Texas law requires "professionals," including teachers, administrators and other school workers, to report allegations of child abuse directly to the proper authorities within 48 hours. In most cases, failure to report child abuse is a Class A misdemeanor. The offense carries a maximum punishment of one year in jail. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier recruited Gasparello, a longtime educator from North Carolina, to lead Sharpstown three years ago. The school, which enrolls about 1,350 students, was the subject last year of a PBS "Frontline" documentary focused on Gasparello and his staff's efforts to keep students from dropping out. Students called him "Mr. G." The allegations stunned students and parents who were arriving at campus Friday morning. "It's messed up," said 16-year-old tenth-grader Jairo Lerma. "Mr. G is a nice guy." Nigel Hilliard, also 16 and in the tenth grade, praised the principal. "They should keep Mr. G here because he's a good principal," Hilliard said. Another student, Charles Osuji Jr., said "I can't believe it," he said of the allegations. "I don't think it's true."

A woman who said her child attends the school was shocked. "That's messed up," Cynthia Cepede said, "I'm surprised about this."

In an interview with the Houston Chronicle in September, Gasparello discussed his recent work with dropouts. "Most kids that aren't coming back to school have just not had any success in the traditional school program," he said. "We have a responsibility as caring adults to figure out how can we help these kids, whatever it may be." The district notified parents of Gasparello's arrest in an automated phone call. The arrest of the others came later. Recent La Marque case "Our priority during this time will be to ensure that school continues to run as smoothly as possible and learning continues without any interruptions," the message said in part. In recent years, other area school employees have faced charges of neglecting or delaying a child abuse report. Last year, three staffers at Mainland Preparatory Academy, a La Marque charter school, were accused of taking almost three weeks to inform police that a 10year-old female student reported being sexually assaulted by a 29-year-old man in Texas City. According to Galveston County court documents, charges were dismissed in April 2013 because each one "completed training regarding child abuse and reporting of child abuse," according to prosecutor-filed motions. Chronicle reporter Dale Lezon contributed to this report. FORWARDED BY: Allan R. Jamail Senatorial District 6 (SDEC) Texas State Democratic Executive Committeeman 2013 - RULES, COMMUNICATIONS & RESOLUTIONS COMMITTEES 52 year proud member of the AFL-CIO. SUSTAINING MEMBER TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY To unsubscribe to receiving email please click on the following link (here) and type the word unsubscribe in the subject title.

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->