UPDATE: Grundy sheriff's office investigating potential unreport - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Grundy sheriff's office investigating potential unreported incidents in schools

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Director of Grundy County Schools Jessie Kinsey Director of Grundy County Schools Jessie Kinsey
GRUNDY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: This week we expect to learn more in the Grundy County investigation, following the alleged attempted rape of a football player that resulted in charges against 5 other players.

A document on the Grundy County School Board website outlines how teachers should respond to and report any abuse in the form of harassment, bullying, or hazing.

Director of Schools Jessie Kinsey said teachers in the school system take mandatory reporting training every year. Kinsey said the training is about an hour long and conducted by someone in the district.

Mandatory reporting training is also available online for free, so anyone can take it.

Tuesday, October 24, Kinsey was served a subpoena requiring her to give the Grundy County Sheriff's Office all records of reported hazing, abuse or sexual abuse over the past five years in the school system.

Channel 3 asked Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum if these records were requested because they believe the school may not have reported incidents to the sheriff's office.

Sheriff Shrum said that's a question they are trying to answer. Sheriff Shrum explained they have heard unconfirmed reports that there may have been incidents that were not reported.

Stay with Channel 3 as this story develops.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Director of Grundy County Schools Jessie Kinsey was served a subpoena Tuesday by Grundy Co. Sheriff Clint Shrum.

The subpoena requested records from the Grundy County Schools central office regarding hazing, abuse or sexual abuse over the past five years in the school system.

Four juniors and one senior at Grundy County High School are accused of trying to rape a freshman with a mop handle earlier this month.

The school system has 30 days to respond to the subpoena.

Channel 3 has learned that a new juvenile judge, Tim Brock, from Coffee County, has been selected to preside over the case.

The court date of November 15 could still be a possibility. Attorneys will have a conference call with the Judge Brock next week to discuss the case further.


PREVIOUS STORY: New developments in the case against five Grundy County students charged with attempted aggravated rape. Channel 3 learned the five football players are suspended from school. They will be suspended for ten days, before beginning their homebound education.

Channel 3 learned Wednesday the school superintendent and a judge had to create a set of guidelines for the players to follow while going through the court system.           

We have asked for details. They have not been released, but the student handbook sheds light on how close to home these students will have to stay.

On house arrest, wearing ankle bracelets, we now know the five Grundy County football players accused of attempted rape are also suspended from school. School Board Attorney Chuck Cagle said once the 10-day suspension is over the students will transition to homebound education.

The school's online handbook lays out homebound education rules. Students are not allowed to work or go to any school functions, including athletic events. They are only allowed to leave home for doctor’s appointments.  It's typically used for students who have long-term health issues. Cagle said additional guidelines were added by Superintendent Jessie Kinsey and the judge in the case.

The handbook also lays out allegations of attempted rape as a level five offense. That's the highest level, meaning any offense in that category is grounds for expulsion.

Sheriff Clint Shrum has made the charges clear. “The Sheriff's Office is not classifying this as hazing. It is an attempted aggravated rape. We want to be clear on that. That is our standpoint on how we are treating this."

We wanted to know why the school district chose suspension over expulsion.  Superintendent Jessie Kinsey did not return calls Wednesday. She has only said the school system is investigating.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions in this case. Because school is currently on fall break, getting in contact with school administrators and accessing open records has been difficult. Once classes resume on Monday Channel 3 will continue to push for answers.


PREVIOUS STORY: The five Grundy County High School charged with attempted aggravated rape are currently suspended from school. They will be suspended for 10 days. After the suspension, the students will receive a “homebound” education while on house arrest.

The Grundy County School Board attorney Chuck Cagle told Channel 3 that Superintendent Jessie Kinsey and the judge had agreed on guidelines for the homebound education.
 
Kinsey said the students would be punished according to the district's handbook.
 
The five students charged in the incident are placed on house arrest with GPS monitors. Sheriff Shrum said they could face additional charges.


PREVIOUS STORY: Five Grundy County students appeared in court on Monday after being charged with attempted aggravated rape. 

Sheriff Clint Shrum said that the students will remain on their house arrest until their next court date, which will be November 15th. 

The judge also recused himself, he has represented some of the parents in a private case. 

In the press conference, the Assistant District Attorney says it is too early to tell if they students will be charged as adults.

Stay with Channel 3 as this story develops. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The five Grundy County High School students charged with attempted aggravated rape are now under house arrest.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Grundy Co. Friday night game cancelled

Sheriff Clint Shrum said they have been served and placed in GPS ankle monitors. They're expected to appear in juvenile court on Monday.

It will be up to a juvenile court judge to decide how long four juniors and a senior will wear ankle monitors. It will also be up to that same court system to determine if the students will face adult charges.  

READ MORE | How to talk to children about hazing and bullying

“It may very well be a time when attorneys are appointed or make appearances if they've been retained or the judge may appoint if they qualify for public assistance," David McGovern, Assistant District Attorney for the 12th Judicial District said.

McGovern is representing the state in the case against five teens charged with attempted aggravated rape. They'll be in juvenile court on Monday, which serves a different purpose than adult court.

“We're bouncing a couple of factors here. On the one hand, we're wanting to hold folks accountable for conduct. On the other hand with juveniles, you're also wanting to have something that will be beneficial even to the folks we think have committed crimes," McGovern said.

The punishments are less severe if a juvenile is found guilty. They range from probation to jail time up until their 19th birthday.

McGovern said it could be months or even a year before a judge makes a ruling in the case.

“We are way early in the process. There's a lot of things you look at. You  look at history. You look at the event itself. You look at how it affects folks, how it affects the victim," McGovern said.

The DA's office told Channel 3 it's too early to say if the teens will be tried as adults.

Tennessee law considers attempted aggravated rape a felony. If convicted, an adult could serve eight to twelve years in prison.

The Grundy County Schools student handbook lists attempted rape as a level five offense. That's the highest level, which means any offense in that category is grounds for expulsion.

Channel 3 contacted the school system to find out if the five students facing charges will be expelled.

All the superintendent would say is that they are continuing to investigate and could not comment any further.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for more details on this developing story.

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