Federal program targets online child predators
Parents in one North Carolina county are pushing back after the local school board hired a new superintendent who led a school where a teacher was convicted of child sex abuse.
An online petition against Kathy Amos taking over as superintendent of Yancey County Schools had over 1,700 signatures as of Tuesday afternoon.
Amos was principal of a Burke County elementary school when an international criminal investigation led to the arrest of a third-grade teacher, according to records filed in U.S. District Court in western North Carolina.
Michael Alexander was accused of having students drink a “concoction containing his semen” and photographing and taking videos of students, court records show.
The European Police found out about the abuse in 2012 when it “intercepted a child pornography syndicate operating in Spain,” court records show. Officials “discovered child abuse videos and images taken of little girls in Burke County Public Schools that had been distributed worldwide.”
Alexander pleaded guilty to statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a child, WLOS reported. He was sentenced to nearly 50 years in prison, court records show.
A lawsuit filed in 2013 in federal court on behalf of a child victim claimed that Amos knew about the abuse and did nothing about it.
Amos denied the allegations, court records show, and she was later dropped from the lawsuit, WLOS reported.
But parents say they are are still concerned.
“It really scares us,” Samantha Waldrop, a Yancey County parent, told WLOS.
Another Yancey County parent started the Change.org petition, which is directed at Yancey County Schools, the state Board of Education, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper and others.
“Signing this petition will show the NC Board of Education, Yancey County Board of Education, mayor and governor (if need be) that we as parents will not stand for Kathy Amos to be our superintendent because we do not feel like she is capable of protecting our precious children when she failed to protect the students of the Burke County school system that she was in charge of,” the petition said.
Amos is scheduled to start her new job July 1.
The Yancey County School Board released a statement through an attorney, The Yancey Times Journal posted on Facebook.
The statement said the case against Amos was dismissed and the board “used immense care to scrutinize the allegations” against her, according to the Yancey Times Journal.