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Indianapolis Public Schools Delayed Reporting Child Seduction Allegations

Steve Wagner

Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) is in the midst of another scandal involving IPS staff and inappropriate relationships with students. Shana Taylor, a 37 year old guidance counselor at Longfellow Alternative High School, was charged Wednesday with felony counts of child seduction, one felony count of dissemination of matter harmful to minors, and one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Detectives believe Taylor engaged in sexual acts with at least two teenage students, beginning with both boys were 16 years old. Initial reports say there is graphic and credible evidence Taylor had sex with at least one of the students, both in photos and text messages, and it also appears some of the inappropriate student-staff conduct occurred in Taylor’s office on school grounds.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, it looks like IPS may have violated state law and its own district policies for mandatory reporting of abuse against children. One of the boys’ mothers took evidence of the alleged misconduct to assistant principal, William Jensen, on February 17. Jensen initiated contacts with several other IPS officials that day, including the Director of Student Services, and two human resources administrators. Despite having seen the photos and videos, no one from IPS reported the allegations to Department of Child Services (DCS) until February 23.

In the interim, Taylor was placed on administrative leave, and human resources staff members interviewed the victim. Though IPS continues to state they removed Taylor from contact with students immediately for student safety reasons, critics say they also left plenty of time for her to eliminate evidence of abuse and may leave other victims unrecognized and without a voice.

Shana Taylor was not arrested until last Thursday, February 25 and is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on a $100,000 bond. This situation is developing, and details may change. We will be following the story closely.

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