Perry School Board Meetings Focus On Fallout Of Abuse Arrest
PERRY, Oklahoma - The arrest of a teacher's assistant in Perry has led to a shake up throughout the district.
Board Members met for almost two hours last week to discuss changes for employees and a continuation of that meeting is scheduled for today.
Three people from Perry Upper Elementary were arrested after these allegations came to the surface. The assistant, 85-year-old Arnold Cowen, is charged with 21 counts of child molestation and one count of possessing child pornography. The school's principal, Kenda Miller, and a teacher, Jeff Sullins, were also arrested, for failing to report the crime. The school board has already suspended superintendent Scott Chenoweth.
When police learned of the allegations in late January, Cowen opened up in his first interview with investigators describing those interactions in hallways and a classroom as he took advantage of opportunities to fondle and molest fifth and sixth grade girls.
Police say Cowen's victims reported the abuse over and over, but nobody listened. The current charges may just be the beginning as police are still interviewing students and teachers to learn the full extent of the abuse.
The school board will reconvene tonight at 6 p.m.