Berkeley County School officials investigating allegations of harassment

West Virginia

Berkeley County School officials say they are investigating allegations that a six-year-old student had been harassed by school employees at Berkeley Heights Elementary School.

This is dating back to October 5, when the Martinsburg Police Department received a complaint from a parent that her child had been harassed by members of the school staff.

A statement from the police department says they immediately visited the Berkeley Heights Elementary School and personally notified the school administration of the allegation.

A statement from Elaine Bobo, Director of Berkeley County Schools, reads in part: “Upon notification, the offices of special education and human resources began working immediately to address the parental concerns. If the results of the investigation warrant, additional actions will be taken in accordance with West Virginia Personnel laws.”  

Martinsburg Police say there is no criminal investigation being conducted at this time. Berkeley County school officials said it’s taking the matter very seriously, adding that a third party investigator is reviewing the allegations.

WDVM learned that two employees have been placed on administrative leave as officials conduct the investigation.

The full statements can be found below:

MPD Police Chief Maury Richards: “Protecting the safety, health, and well-being of all families and children is a top priority of the Martinsburg Police Department.  MPD works in close partnership with the Berkeley County Schools to ensure that this goal is achieved to the very best of our abilities.  On October 5, 2018, the Martinsburg Police Department received a complaint from the parent of a six-year-old student at Berkeley Heights Elementary School alleging that her child had been harassed by members of the school staff.  After carefully reviewing all evidence available at the time, the police were unable to determine the elements of a criminal offense.  An MPD officer immediately visited Berkeley Heights Elementary School and personally notified the school administration of the allegation. The Martinsburg Police Department is not conducting a criminal investigation into the allegation at this time.  If evidence of a criminal incident arises either from the current third-party investigation being conducted by the Berkeley County Schools or other sources, the Martinsburg Police Department will respond accordingly.”

Elaine Bobo, Berkeley County Schools Director/Department of Communications said “the health and well-being of all students is crucial to their education and personal development, and such allegations are taken very seriously.”

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