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District Clears Palmetto Principal in Failure to Report Complaint


BRADENTON – An external investigation into allegations that Palmetto High School Principal Willie Clark failed to report allegations that a student had been sexual assaulted off-campus, found that Clark had no knowledge of the incident.

The district had originally reported to board members that Clark had not failed in his duties ragarding the incident. After learning of the accusations shortly after coming on, new Superintendent Rick Mills brought in Carol Springer Investigations to perform an outside investigation. The district’s internal investigation department, the Office of Professional Standards, was at the time unstaffed and embroiled in the ongoing investigation into accusations of a student's sexual assault by a Manatee High employee.


The investigation into Clark and other Palmetto employees, found that the alleged victims’ mother had informed three other Palmetto High employees of the alleged incident six months after it was to have occurred. The employees were cleared of wrongdoing, but the district says that it will provide additional training to staff on reporting such incidents, as per the advice of the investigators.


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