Principal charged with failure to immediately report child abuse allegations

FORTVILLE, Ind. -- The principal of Mt. Vernon Middle School was charged Wednesday with one misdemeanor count for failure to report allegations of child abuse surrounding former teacher’s aide and substitute teacher, Kisha Nuckols.

Indiana law requires school officials to immediately report allegations of child abuse and neglect to either the Indiana Department of Child Services or police.

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According to the probable cause, Mt. Vernon Counselor Bronwyn Kotarski informed Principal Scott Shipley on March 12 about rumors regarding Nuckols.

Shipley said he didn’t feel any students were in imminent danger due to school not being in session for spring break.

On March 29, Shipley contacted assistant principal Derek Shelton to discuss rumors of Nuckols sending inappropriate messages to students.

Shelton called Fortville Police, who investigated and eventually arrested Kisha Nuckols for child seduction.

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Fortville police interviewed Shipley on April 4.

“Mr. Shipley stated the information he received from Ms. Kotarski was third or fourth hand information and he did not believe it was credible at the time,” according to the probable cause.

Shipley said that once he found out the information was credible, he had Shelton contact police.

Shipley has not been arrested, but is due in court on May 18.

Call 6 Investigates has been unable to reach the Mt. Vernon school district or Shipley for comment.

Kotarski was not charged.

Kisha Nuckols is at least the ninth Indiana school employee or educator accused of misconduct with minors since 2015. See a gallery of other educators facing similar charges here:

 

Mt. Vernon Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Robbins released the following statement Wednesday:

Today we received notification from the Hancock County Superior Court that charges were being filed against the principal at Mt. Vernon Middle School for violation of Indiana Code 3133221(b), which indicates a failure to report in a timely manner suspected child abuse. This information indicates a legal process is beginning and we will await the outcome of the pending legal decisions before taking any further action. As a reminder, I sent out a memorandum to all patrons on April 4, 2016 describing the actions we were taking as a district internally. I have reviewed all of the timelines and statements and have documented the discipline and remedial measures taken both with the employees involved and the district as a whole.

Finally, as I pledged, all of our faculty and full time staff have now completed formal training on Sexual Misconduct Staff to Student and Reporting Requirements and it will be an annual requirement. In closing, I want to reiterate that I truly believe our schools are safe, caring, and nurturing to our students. We will stay committed and resilient to ensure we not only keep them that way, but are continuously improving to provide an optimal learning environment for all our students. 

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