Martinsville Police investigating ‘victimization of students’ at high school

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Photo of Martinsville High School courtesy of CBS4 media library

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. — The Martinsville Police Department is looking into a report made Thursday, Nov. 4 about students violating the MHS Code of Conduct.

In a statement on Nov. 5, Martinsville High School Principal Eric Bowlen said Martinsville Police and Prosecutor’s Office had been notified and will handle any legal matters.

The Martinsville Police Chief John Richards released a statement about the incident on Nov. 10. He called the allegations at the school, “victimization of some students.” Richards went on to say once Martinsville High School began investigating more alleged victims came forward.

On Nov. 15, the Martinsville School Board held it’s first public meeting since the investigation began. Martinsville School Board President Don Lipps addressed the investigation briefly and directed anyone who wanted to know more information to the releases sent out by the school system and police department.

CBS4 was at the meeting but was not allowed to it or record the live stream of the meeting because of a Martinsville School Board rule against. We have asked where we can find that rule at.

You can watch the video of the Monday, Nov. 15 school board meeting here.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, no one in the audience addressed the investigation.

After the meeting, both Martinsville School Board President Don Lipps and interim Superintendent Dr. William Roberson declined comment on the investigation.

Full statement from Martinsville High School Principal Eric Bowlen:

Hello MHS Parents,

Martinsville High School is continuing to investigate a report that was made Thursday involving an allegation that students had violated the MHS Code of Conduct.  The Martinsville City Police and Prosecutor’s Office have been notified; the Martinsville City Police and Prosecutor will handle all legal matters, if necessary.

The MSD of Martinsville takes seriously any allegation that breaches our Code of Conduct and will pursue this matter to the fullest extent to ensure the district is a safe environment for our students and staff.

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we are unable to disclose discipline information concerning our students as a result of the investigation.

Our priority is to educate our students in a safe environment. We encourage students to contact their teacher, principal or any staff member if they feel our Code of Conduct has been breached. In addition, we offer a Tipline on the homepage of our website, msdofmartinsville.org, that is anonymous and monitored regularly.

Respectfully,

Eric Bowlen

MHS Principal

Statement from Martinsville Police Department:

“The Martinsville Police Department is currently working with the MSD of Martinsville to investigate allegations regarding the victimization of some students of the Martinsville High School.  When the MSD of Martinsville was first notified of possible victimization, the district notified the Martinsville Police Department.

“As the school began investigating the claims, alleged victims began coming forward. A full investigation is currently underway and is being led by the Martinsville Police Department Detective Division. At this time the extent of the victimization is unknown, but all allegations are being fully investigated. Anyone having information about any incidents of victimization is asked to contact the Martinsville Police Department at (765) 349-4900.”

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