Waco school accused of delaying action on sexual harassment allegations

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Waco school

Sources told KXXV-25 that administrators in the Connally school district in Waco didn’t act for months on complaints that then-assistant principal John Simpson had acted inappropriately with female staff.

Simpson is accused of sending salacious emails and text messages to female employees and teachers, as well as masturbating in front of a teacher in a book room at Connally Junior High. Both school district police and the Texas Education Agency are investigating. Simpson resigned in November 2018, six months after the complaints were first reported, according to the TV station.

The TEA has sanctioned Simpson multiple times in the past, including a suspension during the 2016-17 school year before he joined Connally, according to KXXV.

The TV station reported that, according to its sources, the inappropriate messages were first reported on May 22, 2018, but that Superintendent Wesley Holt and human resources officer Larry Cumby told the (now former) assistant principal who came forward to drop the issue.

But the unnamed assistant principal, the station reported, sent an email to Cumby the next day, saying the school’s principal, Thurman Brown, was retaliating against him. Brown had recently promoted Simpson to assistant principal from his previous position as behavior intervention specialist.

The assistant principal was fired and escorted off campus.

School district legal counsel Mark Goulet denied the allegations. He said the administration first learned of the inappropriate conduct on Nov. 5, 2018.

“There are so many holes in your story and flaws in your logic, that I wouldn’t even know where to start,” he wrote in a statement to KXXV. “Your sources have given you a great deal of false information.  I stand by my statement on behalf of Connally ISD.”

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