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Jackson school officials address crisis management procedures after Studer arrest

By Donna Smith correspondent

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Superintendent Chris DiLoreto addresses community members during the school board's meeting on Tuesday night. (Donna Smith/ correspondent)

JACKSON TWP.: The Jackson School district is evaluating its protocol for dealing with crisis situations, just one week after freshman basketball coach Scott Studer was charged accused of hiding a video camera in the shower area of the boy's locker room.

At Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Chris DiLoreto addressed parents who voiced concerns about how the situation was handled. Some parents believe they should have been contacted about the charges charges during the school day so that they could have taken their child out of school to discuss the accusations.

"We followed our Critical Incident Process Plan and will be proactive,” DiLoreto said. “We will share information if we can, but this is an ongoing criminal investigation."

DiLoreto said he was contacted by Police Chief Dave Zink at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning about Studer’s impending arrest. DiLoreto stated he then immediately went to the high school and secured Studer's workplace. Studer's computer, documents, and all work items were seized and handed over to the police department. DiLoreto then asked Studer to resign, which he did willingly, and cooperated fully with school officials and law enforcement.

Studer has been charged with seven felony counts of taking nude videos of boys in the locker room. He remains in custody on a $2 million bond and maintains his innocence.

The superintendent made it a point to let parents know that it was his decision to keep the basketball program moving ahead and to maintain a normal school day.

"My main priority on Wednesday was to maintain normalcy, he said.

"I responded directly to all emails and calls and met with parents of students that we knew for sure may have been impacted," DiLoretto said. He added that school officials were not allowed to look at the confiscated tapes, so they didn’t know who the victims were specficially.

The district has put forth its Crisis Management Team resources to deal with questions and concerns of students.

The crisis team provides counseling and comfort in the form of trained counselors and clergy members. DiLoreto also said that the district administration has committed to keeping communication open and will continue to provide information to the community and stop any rumors.

As DiLoreto finished the meeting, he reminded the community that Jackson Schools are excellent and will continue to educate our youth for the future.

 "We will not allow any one person to define our school and community," he said.

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