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Parents demanding answers after lawsuit filed against Camdenton R-3 School District

“How can an administrator, or anyone in charge, not pull that man out immediately, immediately, and get him away from our children,” Butterfield asked.
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 3:00 PM CDT
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CAMDENTON, Mo. (KY3) - Parents with children in the Camdenton R-3 School District want change.

”These people are supposed to be protecting our children, and in charge of protecting our children,” said Josh Butterfield. “We trust them to protect our children. They let our children down, they let us down, they let everyone down and exposed our children to this danger time, and time, and time again.”

That is his response to a lawsuit filed against the district by a middle school teacher. The teacher claimed the superintendent and other school leaders did not properly handle reports that a now former janitor, Jesse Devore, exposed himself to children.

Devore was arrested and fired in March 2019.

The lawsuit claims there were at least two other instances of sexual misconduct before that.

Instead of firing the janitor, the lawsuit claims the school just moved him from the middle school, to Oak Ridge Intermediate School.

”How can an administrator, or anyone in charge, not pull that man out immediately, immediately, and get him away from our children,” Butterfield asked.

On Thursday, Dr. Tim Hadfield, the district’s superintendent, said in a statement the district disputes the claims it did not properly handle the reports.

As the parents arrived at the administration building Monday morning, Dr. Ryan Neal, the assistant superintendent named in the lawsuit, was seen getting into his car.

Neal did not respond to the parents’ questions.

Parents made their way back up the hill to enter the administration building, but the doors were locked.

With administration not letting parents in, they called the number on the door to set up a meeting. A secretary asked for information, but a meeting was not scheduled during the phone call.

Parents say they’ll continue to walk to the administration building every Monday morning until they get answers.

”If we have any questions or concerns, these are the people we’re supposed to talk to, right,” asked Ross Jones, a father of Camdenton students.

KY3/KSPR’s Andrew Havranek messaged Hadfield and Hadfield’s secretary for a comment Monday on why the doors to the building were locked, and for his reaction to the parents marching to the administration building.

Those requests for comment have not been answered.

Devore faces four counts of sexual misconduct involving a child. His case has been moved to Laclede County. He has a hearing scheduled for October.

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