Former Perry School Principal Sentenced For Failing To Report Child Abuse
PERRY, Oklahoma - A former Perry Upper Elementary School principal was given a five-year deferred sentence Friday for failing to report child abuse.
Kenda Miller pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge.
Documents allege several students reported to Miller that a teacher’s aide was touching them inappropriately.
Miller is accused of sending the students back to class without telling their parents or police, even encouraging some children to simply avoid hugging the aide.
That aide, Arnold Cowen, was sentenced on counts of child molestation in early March.
In court Thursday, Miller showed little emotion, but did listen attentively as survivor letter were read aloud.
Miller had no comment for News 9, but her attorney claimed there was little to add, as the case was over.
“She was placed on a deferred sentence and we did that for certain reasons and we’re done. The case is over with,” Cheryl Ramsey, Miller’s attorney said.
Parents of Cowen’s targets disagree.
“She’s guilty at what she did. I feel like she should be able to sit there in front of us parent and tell us what she did wrong,” Stacy Turpin, a mother of one Cowen’s victims said.
Turpin, fellow parent Connie Roessler and other parents of survivors have filed a lawsuit against Perry Schools.
Roessler also testified Thursday.
“I was really concentrating on not trying to be angry. I’m very angry. I wanted her to know how much she hurt my daughter,” Roessler said.
Statements from the children themselves were also read in court.
Miller paid close attention to the testimony, but showed little emotion.
“It took a lot of courage for me to be able to sit there and tell the woman that did not protect my daughter how it hurt my family and her,” Turpin said.
According to charging documents, had Miller spoken up immediately, she could have prevented 10 other children from being victimized.