Parents protest school district's decision on sexual abuse case

Parents protest school district's decision on sexual abuse case

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HEBER, CA - Parents in Heber were out protesting early on Wednesday morning. They disagree with the school district's decision to allow a janitor accused of sexual misconduct with a 4 year-old, to continue working in the schools.

What has parents here in Heber most concerned is that instead of putting the janitor on administrative leave during the ongoing investigation, they simply moved him to a different school across town, where there are still children present.

"Being accused of what he is being accused of, it's not correct that's he's still working on school grounds in the district of Heber", says Heber resident Norma Figueroa. "I would like this person to be out during this investigation for the safety of all children".

Norma was just one of many concerned parents that came out to Dogwood and Heber Elementary Schools on Wednesday morning to protest the fact that the alleged child molester is being allowed to work at the schools, despite the on-going investigation.

They feel like the school district is out to protect the janitor and not the children

"I am very disappointed", says Isabel Kierepka. "This is proof that this school district does not care about the security of our children. We want him out of the school during this investigation; we don't want him near our children".

Monica Velarde says that the allegations alone should have made the district put the janitor on administrative leave.

"My biggest concern is the children's safety", she says. "If there's a person accused of hurting children, I don't even think he should be on the premises, allowed to be on the premises".

Imperial County Sheriff's Office's, Lieutenant Scott Sheppeard says that The Sheriff's Office is doing all they can to resolve the case.

"It's important that members of our community, any parents of this school, or any school in Imperial County, know that any information they have about a criminal violation, concerns that they have that they feel its important for us to investigate, we will look into and we will investigate every criminal matter to the fullest".

At the end of the day Isabel and the rest of the parents that came out had a very important message to other parents and members of the Heber community.

"Our children are the most important things we have", she says. "They are the future and we have to protect them, not just ours but everyone's. We have to unite as parents for the sake of our children".

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