Apparently KIRO TV is running a story about a custodian who has been accused by a few people from one family of acting inappropriately with students at one of our elementaries.
The word from his union, Local 609, is that none of the things being said about this custodian doing anything wrong are true. It is true that he sometimes is in the lunchroom during lunch and that he worked with students in the chess club. There is also a video clip of the custodian breaking up a playground fight (which is pretty much what you would expect any adult on the scene to do).
The custodian does have a number of arrests since 1997 as well as a theft conviction in 2002.
KIRO makes it sound like there was a police investigation of one incident when, in fact, the police were called on one occasion and the report states:
The reporting officer goes on to say in conclusion:
“I found no evidence of any criminal activity.”
One of the complaints is by one person who wonders why a custodian has any
interaction with children. Personally, I find that an odd statement as most custodians are in the building during school hours. The kids at
my sons' elementary school knew their custodian well and he was a
I understand that the district has looked
into this and says the allegations are "unfounded" and they may have
contacted KIRO about the running of this story and the "facts" put
According to the union rep: Mr. Harris has the support of the Leschi
staff, administration, the central office, and the broader Leschi
Update: I watched the KIRO TV piece and I think it was quite the hatchet job. They did everything they could to make the custodian look suspicious. They talked ONLY to the two parents involved and not one other parent, teacher, principal or staff member. Nothing they said was untrue but they slanted the piece to be sensationalized for broadcast.
Part of the district's statement:
While Mr.X is a custodian, he also works in cooperation with the non-profit Seattle Music Partners after school. He is familiar with the rules of conduct in a school building and has read and followed the school handbook. It is typical for custodians to assist in the school and have contact with children.
According to school staff, Mr. X is very well respected in the school community