Reporting John Lauritsen
FARIBAULT, Minn. (WCCO) – Faribault police say there may be more cases of child sex abuse at Shattuck-St. Mary’s.
On Monday, WCCO reported about the 17 sex abuse charges filed against former drama teacher Lynn Seibel of Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn.
He’s accused of sexually abusing six male students from 1996 to 2003, all of whom were between 15 and 17 years old at the time.
Now, on Tuesday, police say they’ve received tips involving two other teachers in separate cases. One of the cases involves a teacher who was at the school in the 1980s.
The other allegation involves a teacher named Len Jones, who was accused of having a relationship with a foreign-exchange student that began when she was just 15 years old.
The school says they contacted police in 2001, when concerns surfaced about Seibel. Police say otherwise.
“We have no police reports filed at that time and Rice County social services has no record of receiving that call,” said Faribault Police Captain Neal Pederson.
Pederson said his department was also kept in the dark when concerns were made regarding Jones, the Director of Residential Life and history teacher.
On Dec. 5 of 2008, school officials received a tip that the 34-year-old Jones was having a relationship with a female student on campus.
Pederson said the school should have contacted police immediately, but instead tried to confront Jones on their own. During that meeting with school officials, Jones asked to go grab a coat in his room. Police say once he was inside and alone, he took his own life.
“I guess our stance is that if they would have contacted us prior to confronting him, he wouldn’t have had the chance to go in the house and shoot himself,” Pederson said.
The news isn’t what people living close to Shattuck want to hear. They worry the actions of a few, could hurt the reputations of many.
“My husband is a science teacher,” neighbor Jessica Zabel said. “I recommended to him to get a job at Shattuck if he could. They are well known for their education. I think it’s sad.”
The school released a statement in regards to what happened with Len Jones. They said at the scene of the suicide, they immediately disclosed the allegations to police and at no time did they do anything but try and be open with students, families, faculty and law enforcement.
The school also said they are unaware of the allegations from the 1980s case involving another teacher, but are encouraging anyone with information to come forward.
A spokesman told WCCO that like law enforcement, their highest priority is to keep students safe.