Wharton Elementary employee investigated for alleged inappropriate touching

WHARTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Wharton Elementary School staff member is on administrative leave as the district investigates allegations of what it describes as "inappropriate physical prompts."

In a letter sent to parents on Monday, Superintendent Michael O'Guin says the employee was removed from the school campus when the allegations were first made.

A parent who asked to remain anonymous tells ABC13 her child is a victim and says her student says there were inappropriate hugs and touching in the classroom.

This mother says she was first made aware of the accusations on Feb. 3 when the school principal called to share the investigation and concern that the child was an alleged victim.

The family was instructed to go to the Wharton Crisis Center to assist further with the district's investigation. The parent tells ABC13 the crisis center offered free therapy to the child.

Here is the full letter sent to parents from Wharton ISD:

"The District is aware of recent allegations of use of inappropriate physical prompts made against a Wharton ISD elementary school staff member and has taken those allegations very seriously.

When allegations surfaced, first and foremost, the staff member in question was removed from the school campus.

The Administration is currently conducting a thorough investigation of the allegations and will address any findings of misconduct appropriately at the conclusion of the investigation.

Though federal law mandates student confidentiality and state law and local policy mandate the confidentiality of any specific personnel action, I can confirm action will be taken to aptly address this matter to the fullest extent.

The District is committed to efficiently and effectively handling this issue with as little disruption to our students as possible. As always, we strive to maintain a safe and positive learning environment for our students.

Because this is a pending matter and in the interest of respecting the privacy of those involved, the District will refrain from commenting further on the matter."

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