IPS principal resigns amid investigation into improper sexual abuse reporting procedures

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Shana Taylor

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 14, 2016) – An Indianapolis Public Schools principal resigned amid an investigation involving the Department of Child Services and the way the principal handled a sexual abuse case.

Positive Supports Academy Principal Mark Cosand submitted his resignation, citing personal reasons, and his resignation was effective March 7.

Earlier this month, IPS launched an investigation following a six-day lag between the time school officials were notified about a possible sexual abuse case and the time it took them to report it to the Indiana Department of Child Services.

According to court documents, a mother of one of the victims went to an assistant principal at Longfellow Alternative School on February 17 with knowledge of an alleged relationship between her son and former counselor Shana Taylor. At that time Principal Mark Cosand and four other school officials were notified about the allegations. They didn’t formally report the incident to DCS until February 23.

“Statutorily, institutions are required to report child abuse or neglect immediately. So as soon as they know, they need to report it either to DCS or law enforcement,” said James Wide, with the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Wide said it’s clear that more education is needed for schools and institutions that deal with children. He also said parents who discover inappropriate relationships should report to DCS or police and not necessarily the school district.

IPS Superintendent Dr. Lewis Ferebee told FOX59 that IPS principals will be going to a training session Thursday in partnership with CPS. They are also working on finalizing a checklist that will go to staff that tells them exactly what steps to take if there’s a report of abuse or neglect.

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