By JASON ROSSMANSchool principals are facing tougher discipline and suspensions, fines, and even termination as a result of sexual harassment allegations made against them in a federal investigation that found the district was violating Title IX law.
On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joon Kim issued a statement accusing five principals of using their positions of authority to sexually harass women.
“As a result, the district has taken unprecedented steps to protect women in our schools and is actively investigating the allegations against all of its principals,” Kim said in the statement.
“We are committed to a culture of respect and equality, and we will vigorously pursue all of these allegations against these officials,” he added.
Kim’s investigation is the latest fallout from a year in which the number of allegations against a U.K.-based teacher rose from 20 to more than 100,000, the most in the country.
It also includes allegations of misconduct by three other teachers who worked at a South Carolina high school.
A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Education told The Associated Press on Thursday that it is reviewing the findings and will respond in due course.
“The district will take appropriate action to remedy the actions of those who were disciplined,” said DOE spokesperson Michael Kline.
Kim told the AP that the investigation found that the principals were allowed to “walk the tightrope between protecting the rights of all students and maintaining the trust of the public.”
“In some cases, this could have compromised students’ academic performance,” Kim told the newspaper.
In the letter, Kim wrote that he has reviewed the allegations and determined that the actions taken by the principals did not meet the standards of the Code of Conduct and the Standards of Student Conduct.
The New York Daily News reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that one of the five principals who worked in the South Carolina school district is currently suspended from the program.
The other five principals were not named in the report.
The AP reported that the South Dakota district is also conducting an investigation.
The Washington Post has not confirmed that the district is investigating the South Carolinas school.
The Washington Post reported that Kim is investigating both the South American country school and the Washington, D.C.-based school district.