Parents Slam Plano ISD After Second Sexual Abuse Case

Officials invite parents to submit written questions to be answered online if district legally able to do so

By Omar Villafranca
|  Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012  |  Updated 11:19 PM CDT
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Hunt Elementary parents said at a heated meeting that they want to know what is being done to prevent another case of sexual abuse after two separate allegations in two years.

Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 News

Hunt Elementary parents said at a heated meeting that they want to know what is being done to prevent another case of sexual abuse after two separate allegations in two years.

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Parents at an elementary school in Murphy gave school district officials an earful Tuesday night during a packed meeting about two allegations of sexual abuse in two years.

Todd Reich, a coach at Hunt Elementary, was arrested last week on suspicion of indecency with a child. He is free on bond.

The allegations against Reich are the second case at the school in two years. In 2010, Joseph Garbarini was sentenced to 62 years in prison.

Parents are well aware of the school’s recent history and wanted to hear what was being done to prevent another case.

Benjamin Conner told child advocate workers and Plano Independent School District Superintendent Richard Matkin at Tuesday's meeting that their answers weren’t quelling parents' fears.

"They're here, not able to answer any questions about what safety measures are in place, whether or not they've had a sexual abuse response team in here, why the nurses aren't certified examiners," Conner said. "He hasn't answered any of those questions, has he? This is the problem. It's not that it happened and we don't have an answer today, it's that this has happened before."

Matkin told the crowd that the meeting wasn’t a question-and-answer session. Instead, parents had to fill out a form to ask a question that had to be approved by the district’s attorney because the incident is under police investigation, he said.

"This was just simply to tell you what our procedures were, to give you the opportunity to submit questions that we can answer through advisement," Matkin told the crowd.

It did little to quiet down the more than 200 parents that packed the gymnasium.

Steve Cuny, the father of four children at Hunt Elementary, hasn’t allowed them back to school because he fears for their safety.

"I'm concerned with what's happening now, forward," he said. "Nobody's been forthcoming on telling me who is going to talk to my children about what happened. Nobody is telling me
what is going on in the school to make sure my kids are protected."

Cuny said he’s allowing his kids to go back so he doesn’t face truancy charges.

He asked district officials if more cameras were being installed or if doors were being taken out of offices to prevent teachers from being alone with students. District officials couldn’t comment and said a third party was looking into the how the district hires and does background checks on potential employees.

The responses weren't enough for some parents.

"This meeting is an insult," Conner told officials.

District spokeswoman Leslie Range-Stanton told NBC 5 that parental questions would be answered on the district's website. Range-Stanton also said another meeting would be set up to continue the discussion.

NBC 5 asked to speak with Matkin on camera, but a district official declined the interview.


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