Rock Rapids, Iowa — A group of concerned parents and community members addressed the Central Lyon School Board Monday night, February 8th.
Three people spoke during the community input portion of the meeting. They said they were upset with what they call the board’s failure to act to protect preschool students.
An investigation was launched, and in October, according to court records, preschool teacher Melissa Lockey was charged with a misdemeanor assault charge after allegations that she “clotheslined” a student who was running around during a group activity on September 9th, 2015.
Lockey pled not guilty and a jury trial was set for January, but on December 10th, Judge Robert Dull dismissed the charges, and Lockey was allowed to resume her duties in the classroom.
The school board listened to the three women, Susan Blair, Rochelle Johnson, and Laura Sievers present their comments. Johnson alleges that the school district disregarded the testimony of paraprofessionals in the room, including her daughter, creating trust issues. According to Blair, only one of the four paraprofessionals for that room are still employed by the district. Sievers was upset with the use of the term “unfounded,” as used in a communication with parents. She says that “unfounded” doesn’t align with the criminal complaint that states that Lockey admitted to the act. All three were concerned with the amount of time it took the district to act.
Central Lyon Superintendent Dave Ackerman took a few moments to address the three and the group of fifteen to twenty others who were there. He said that due to employee confidentiality, he could not say much in an open meeting. What he did say is that situations such as this take time, and they wanted to take the time do do everything right, checking with legal counsel at every step of the way. He also stated that it wasn’t a matter of whether something had happened or not, it was a matter of the severity of what happened.