4 cited for failure to report alleged child abuse at Chaffee High School

CHAFFEE, Mo. (KBSI) – Four people have been cited for allegedly failing to report possible child abuse by a teacher at Chaffee R-II High School.

Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Amanda Oesch filed probable cause affidavits for Jennifer M. Vandeven, John D. Cundiff, Amy M. Blackman and Stephen B. Blackman citing each of them for failure of mandated reporter to report child abuse/neglect or death of child under 18.

According to the probable cause statement, a student at Chaffee High School told teacher Amy Blackman on Nov. 15, 2021 that she was touched by another teacher on her “bottom.” The student told Blackman that a teacher asked her to come up to his desk to discuss an exam. The student says the teacher “unnecessarily threw a pen away and swiped her bottom in the process,” according to the probable cause statement. The student also said the the teacher, “acts weird toward her.” According to the probable cause statement, Blackman did not escort the student to any other staff member or determine where the student went after the disclosure.

High School Principal John Cundiff and Superintendent Stephen (Brad) Blackman were notified by email from Blackman on Nov. 15 at 11:58 a.m. of the student’s complaint. In the memo, it states, the “behavior could constitute sexual harassment.”

On Dec. 6, 2021 the school district began a formal complaint process after the Scott County Sheriff’s Office began a criminal investigation.

Compliance Officer Jennifer Vandeven conducted multiple interviews on Dec. 7. The incident was also investigated by John Cundiff, the high school principal. Vandeven conducted follow-up interviews in January 2022.

A Missouri Children’s Division Hotline report was not made by the school district until January 21, 2022, according to the probable cause statement.

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