Fired IPS administrators sue district for wrongful termination

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Director of Student Services Deb Leser and Assistant Principal Bill Jensen

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– Two Indianapolis Public Schools administrators who were fired over their handling of sexual abuse allegations involving a school counselor are now suing the district for wrongful termination.

In June, the IPS board voted unanimously to fire Longfellow Assistant Principal Bill Jensen and Director of Student Services Deb Leser for not immediately reporting allegations of sexual abuse against Shana Taylor.

ISP Human Relations Director Tina Hester and case manager Shalon Dabney were each criminally charged with failing to report.  Both resigned and Superintendent Lewis Ferebee sent them a letter recommending their termination.

No one in the district reported the alleged abuse until almost a week after school officials were aware of it.

The lawsuit alleges IPS provided “overly vague” information to support the allegations that Jensen and Leser violated district policy. The lawsuit says this prevented them from being able to counter the claims fully, and impeded on their due process rights.

Taylor is accused of having sex with two students. She faces nine counts of child seduction.

IPS issued the following statement on the matter:

“IPS has reviewed the claims. We believe they are without merit, and we will vigorously defend against them. No further comment will be offered on pending litigation.” – Indianapolis Public Schools

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