BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A Bloomington principal is facing criminal charges for failing to report allegations of suspected child abuse involving students.
Joyce Huck, the principal of Lighthouse Christian Academy, is charged with Failure to Make a Report, a class B misdemeanor.
According to the probable cause affidavit, a parent reported on February 19 her daughter was sexually battered by a fellow student during an overnight “lock-in” event at the school on February 11.
The incident occurred in a room without adult supervision, but there were other teens in the room when the alleged sexual battery happened.
A friend of the alleged victim told an adult chaperone the night of the incident, and the chaperone informed Principal Joyce Huck.
On February 28, deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office questioned Principal Joyce Huck.
“While speaking with Joyce, she stated she was aware that the suspect touched (the victim’s) buttock inappropriately on the night of the school lock-in,” read court documents. “Joyce also stated that she did not report this to the Department of Child Services or Law Enforcement.”
Deputies advised Huck it is her duty to report abuse allegations to DCS or police.
Numerous other school officials have faced criminal charges in the last year or so for failing to report suspected child abuse.
The school board president Dr. Richard Holdeman released the following statement on Tuesday:
“We want you to know we take seriously our responsibility for the care and protection of Lighthouse students, which includes making a report of child abuse and neglect when appropriate. We have a well-established history of making such reports to the proper authorities when we have reason to believe a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect. While we work through the question of the legal duty to report in this instance, we hope you will understand that we cannot further comment on this matter until it reaches a resolution.”
The Indiana Department of Education’s Staff Attorney sent a letter to schools in April 2016 reminding school staff and administrators of their responsibility to report child abuse and neglect in a timely manner.