The Latest: North Dakota mayor says school probe 'sensitive'

AP News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2018 6:58 PM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on the investigation into alleged student misbehavior at a small North Dakota town's school that might involve sexual misconduct (all times local):

6 p.m.

The mayor of Colfax, North Dakota, says an investigation into alleged student misbehavior at the small town's school that might involve sexual misconduct is "a very sensitive issue" for the community.

Scott Gauslow declined to comment further on talk in town that the alleged misbehavior might involve younger students being sexually violated in a darkened male locker room by older students. He called the situation "bad for the community."

Eighteen-year-old senior Gavin Hill-Olson says he witnessed what he called "hazing" and put a stop to it. He wouldn't provide details, but called the incident "inappropriate" and "pathetic."

Jenny Schmitt, a parent in the district, cautioned against jumping to conclusions while an investigation is pending.

Both the school and the Richland County Sheriff's Office are investigating. Superintendent Tim Godfrey says some students have been "removed" from classes "for their safety and (that of) others."

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12:45 p.m.

School officials in the southeastern North Dakota town of Colfax have removed some students from classes as they and law officers investigate allegations of harassment, bullying or hazing that might involve student sexual misconduct.

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Superintendent Tim Godfrey says the alleged misbehavior happened in the male locker room and might have involved sexual harassment.

Godfrey wouldn't say how many students were removed on Monday or provide details on their status, citing the ongoing investigation. About 160 students attend the grades 7-12 school.

Godfrey says a parent first notified the school of student misconduct, and that school officials investigated and enlisted the help of law enforcement when it became clear the situation "was much more involved."

Richland County Sheriff's Office officials didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on their investigation.