Principal Michael Ceglinski Charged with Failure to Report Abuse
McCracken County High School principal Michael Ceglinski has been suspended without pay and arrested for allegedly failing to report sexual abuse of multiple students at the school.
The high school has been in the midst of a sexual abuse scandal since the beginning of 2019. Three employees have been investigated by the McCracken County Sheriff’s Office in that timeframe.
On February 14, bass fishing coach John Parks was charged with first-degree sexual abuse. According to court documents, Parks allegedly grabbed an underage male’s buttocks and inner thigh several times “for sexual gratification.” He also was charged with possession of child pornography of a second victim.
On February 6, McCracken County activities director Kris Garrett resigned from the school after being accused of inappropriately contacting a student or multiple students using an electronic device. Garret was banned from campus on January 15, when the sheriff’s department began their investigation. He had been working as the activities director since the school opened in 2013.
A third employee is also currently under investigation for inappropriate communication. No charges have been filed, so that employee’s name has not been released.
Earlier this week, 18-year-old student Pricekumar Joshi was arrested for inappropriate sexual contact and possessing illegal sexual images of an underage student.
Police say Ceglinski was aware of two of these incidents but failed to notify law enforcement – a violation of state law. The school also allegedly failed to take any administrative action in one of the incidents and took very little action in another. Ceglinski has been the principal of McCracken County High School since it opened its doors in 2013.
Legal Recourse for Survivors of Sexual Abuse by School Employees
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com is a former prosecutor who now represents survivors of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits, helping them fight for the justice and financial compensation they deserve. Here are a few of Brian’s thoughts on the legal options available to survivors of abuse by school employees:
The individuals who run our schools have the vital responsibility of making sure their students are safe from dangerous people. Tragically, schools are often targeted by sexual predators who seek out positions as teachers, coaches, counselors, and others. These predators use their positions of trust as a way to commit terrible crimes. School administrators must be aware of this danger and do all that they can to protect their students.
In some cases of sexual abuse involving school employees, the school district was at-fault for failing to stop the abuse. For example, a school district might be considered negligent if staff members were aware of suspected sexual abuse but did not report the allegations to law enforcement. In cases of negligence, the victims and their families likely have a strong case for a lawsuit.
If your child has recently come forward to tell you about sexual abuse, we understand how difficult this time is for your family and we want to help you find justice. After contacting the police, we advise contacting an experienced sexual abuse survivors attorney to learn more about your family’s legal options.
Location of McCracken County High School in Paducah, KY