Mingo County, WV administrators under fire amid allegations of s - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Mingo County, WV administrators under fire amid allegations of sex abuse cover-up

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MINGO COUNTY, WV -

Randy Bishop is speaking out. But let's be clear. This is definitely not the first time.

"I'm going to go as far as I can go with this and make sure I can get something done," he said.

Bishop's adopted grandson attended Burch Middle School in Mingo County until several months ago. The man said the boy got bullied so badly, he filed several complaints with school and country administrators. The special needs student even went to the hospital for his injuries.

"They never want to admit up to anything. They punished him and never punished the other children, the other boys," said Bishop, who claims he barely heard from school administrators about addressing the bullying issue.

On Thursday West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey filed an injunction against several employees at Burch Middle School and the Mingo County Board of Education. The documents allege these adults covered up multiple incidents of sexual abuse involving two young girls and two boys.

School officials knew about the abuse cases, but instead of reporting the complaints to the proper authorities, they intimidated and retaliated against the girls, according to court documents.

Bishop said this news affirms his worst fears.

"It just proves my fact that this school and the Board of Education doesn't protect the kids in this area," he said.

13 News spoke with Principal Melissa Webb on Friday.

"Is anything being done to accommodate those students?" asked 13 News reporter Alanna Autler.

"I'm sorry, but I can't comment, this is all I can give you at this time," said Webb, who handed Autler a typed statement before closing the door.

"We are aware of the complaint that has been filed in the Circuit Court of Mingo County. Once the county has been formally served, we will respond accordingly. Mingo County Schools takes student safety seriously and remains committed to providing a secure environmental for all students."

A secretary for the Board of Education provided 13 News with a similar statement. She said Superintendent Randy Keathley was out of the office.

At least two deputies with the Mingo County Sheriff's Department visited the Mingo County Board of Education Friday, according to visitation logs. An official said the deputies served papers to several defendants named in the civil action suit.

Bishop moved his adopted grandson from Burch Middle School to Matewan Middle School. He will start in the fall. He hopes his story-- and the injunction-- will compel other parents.

"They need to step up," Bishop said. "Speak out, let the school know, let the public know what's going on here."