WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WBRE / WYOU) – A mother and daughter from Luzerne County are speaking out tonight about what they claim is the inappropriate behavior of a Crestwood teacher.
Eyewitness News first reported in October, that the District placed the teacher on paid administrative leave on October 21st, the same day a complaint was filed with the Pennsylvania child abuse hotline, ChildLine.
Eyewitness News Andy Mehalshick spoke to the mother who contacted Childline. She claims the school district did not address her concerns about the teacher when she approached the district more than a year ago.
“The sexual innuendos the references to anatomy, body parts, that are uncalled for,” said Yvonne, the mother of a Crestwood student. Eyewitness News is not using her full name to protect her daughter’s identity.
Yvonne’s daughter described some of the activity she and her mother brought to ChildLine’s attention, “Giving us pats on the shoulders and side hugs. Making comments he can’t hug us or else he’ll lose his job. Stuff like that,” she said.
Eyewitness News is not naming the teacher, now on paid administrative leave, because no criminal charges have been filed in the case. Our requests for comment have not been returned.
Crestwood District officials will not comment on the investigation saying it is a personnel matter. The district solicitor, Jack Dean, told Eyewitness News he was unaware of the complaints last year and pointed out that there is now a new administration running the district.
The President of the union representing the teacher says he is confident the investigation will show that the teacher did not do anything inappropriate.
Yvonne says she’s now hoping her complaint to ChildLine will get answers. “The school district was approached last year with a list of facts and comments. We were told it would be taken care of and it has not been taken care of,” she said.
Yvonne’s daughter says the situation has left students at the school feeling uneasy and afraid to come forward. “Basically they are scared. They do feel uncomfortable. I see other people go through same exact thing. Lots of people talking about it but no one ever came forward about it.”
Eyewitness News talked with a second mother who did not want to go on camera. She expressed similar concerns about the teacher at the center of the investigation.
Wright Township Police confirm they are conducting a joint investigation with the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.
Count on Eyewitness News to continue following this story and bring you new information as it develops.