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Investigation Continues Into Alleged Mingo County School Sexual Abuse Coverup

Reported: May. 9, 2014 6:15 PM EDT
Updated: May. 9, 2014 10:46 PM EDT
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DELBARTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- The story of sexual abuse allegedly being brushed under the rug at a Mingo County middle school continues to make waves in an area that's no stranger to controversy and corruption.

Now, other parents are speaking up, saying they have been treated the same way by Mingo County school officials.

Randy Bishop said he was not the least bit surprised to learn administrators at Burch Middle School, along with Mingo County school officials, are accused of covering up those sexual abuse allegations brought forth by two girls.

He claims his special needs grandson was continuously bullied at the school and there was never a proper investigation.

"It's not safe here. I don't want him injured any more," Bishop said.

Bishop said he took his grandson out of the school because of the bullying.

He came to an interview with Eyewitness News, armed with complaints he's filed, incident reports and even medical records that indicate his grandson was "assaulted."

He said the school administration brushed his concerns under the rug.

"They never want to admit up to anything," he said. "They punished him and never punished any of the other children, any of the boys."

On Thursday, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a civil rights injunction against the board of education, superintendent Randy Keathley and staff members at the school, including principal Melissa Webb.

Morrisey claimed they failed to investigate allegations of sexual abuse against two girls by two boys at the school, even retaliated against the girls. The complaint indicates at least one of the boys had relatives within the school system.

"That just proved my fact that this school and the board of education doesn't protect the kids in this area where they should be," Bishop said.

Eyewitness News was turned away for comment at Burch Middle School, but given a written statement.

"We are aware of the complaint that has been filed in the Circuit Court of Mingo County. Once the county has been formally served, we will respond accordingly. Mingo County Schools takes student safety seriously and remains committed to providing a secure environment for all students," it read.

Eyewitness News also went to the Mingo County Board of Education to speak with Keathley, but were told he had not been there all day. A secretary gave us a copy of the same statement given out at the school.

"They need to step up, speak out, let the school know, let the public know what's going on here. Get it stopped," Bishop said.

There is an open position for a principal at Burch Middle School on the Mingo County School's website.

State police said they are still investigating and charges could be forthcoming.



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