Another School Official Failed to Protect a Student from a Sexual Crime

Another School Official Failed to Protect a Student from a Sexual Crime

Unfortunately, Shelly Vaughn was not the only education professional to fail the student victim in the Chris Summers case. The attached sheriff’s report (click here to view) shows that St. Henry Administrator, Dennis Wendel, admitting that he suspected Summers was involved with a student back in the summer of 2010. When the investigation began Wendel was very willing to be a witness, but the problem is Wendel suspected that Summers was having an inappropriate relationship with a student 2 years earlier and did nothing! Under Ohio Law Dennis Wendel is a mandatory reporter therefore just the suspicion of an adult having an inappropriate relationship with a student means he has to report it. He did not.

In the case of both Vaughn and Wendel, they had the ability to protect the student by intervening and help end the inappropriate relationship Summers was having, but they chose not to. The issue we are emphasizing is the negligence committed by these two mandatory reporters who, by their lack of action, let this inappropriate relationship go on for years. What type of additional damage and trauma did the student victim have to endure because of their lack of action?

Tragically Mercer County officials knew that what Vaughn and Wendel did were crimes. It took us over a year to get this Sheriff’s report and the report we referenced in the article we posted on Monday regarding Shelly Vaughn. We will turn all of this evidence over to the Department of Education and hope they take appropriate action.

As a community, we entrust school officials to protect our children. Ohio Law code 2151 sets the bar very high for school officials. If they suspect even the slightest hint of abuse, they must report it. The Ohio Department of Education endorses this expectation. In the Summers case, there is a layer of complicity to his crime and the school officials responsible for this need to be held accountable!

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