SANFORD — The Lee County Board of Education shared the findings of an independent six-month investigation at its meeting last Monday.
The findings discussed Siler City resident, Andrew Braxton Allen, a 6th grade teacher at SanLee Middle School who allegedly abused students.
Allen, 32, was originally arrested on Nov. 17 after a weeks-long investigation. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said he had multiple inappropriate relations with students over a 10-year period at the school.
At the meeting Monday, Board Chairperson Sherry Womack read a prepared statement summarizing the findings of an external investigation, which included “a review of the school system’s policies, training, and safety plans to seek improvements that would help prevent something like that from ever happening again.”
The investigation found no evidence that any teacher or staff member at SanLee had knowledge that Allen, who was hired in 2012, was allegedly abusing students. It also found no complaints or reports from students or parents regarding any abuse before the report received last November that led to the arrest, according to The Rant.
On Nov. 2, Lee County Schools said Allen was immediately suspended without pay as soon as the allegations surfaced. Allen resigned Nov. 6, according to the district. Charges against Allen include statutory sex offense with a child by an adult, indecent liberties with a child and sexual activity with a student, the Sheriff’s Office said. The current bond for Allen is $2 million, he is awaiting trial at Raleigh Central Prison.
Lee County Schools utilized outside counsel for the investigation to Allen, authorizing $30,000 of district funds.
“The review did not include interviews with Andrew Allen or any of his victims,” Womack said at the meeting on Monday. “We only have access to our own documents and may not have other information shared with the police from other sources, including private communication outside of our school system.”
The investigation by Lee County Schools was limited and not a criminal investigation. Information used by LCS only included to what was known about Allen’s alleged activities over the years and whether policies and processes needed to be changed. The study revealed several areas for potential policy changes in Lee County Schools, including potential “anti-grooming training” and changes to Title IX complaints, according to Womack.
Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @b_rappaport
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