A Clayton County principal who waited 11 days before reporting a child sex abuse allegation to the police did not violate the law, according to a judge.
On Jan. 9, a 14-year-old girl reported that teacher and basketball coach Antonio Mahone summoned her to his classroom to give her some candy. He then hugged her and squeezed her buttocks, she told police.
Kendrick Middle School Principal Steve Hughes launched an investigation that same day. He turned in a report to the district on Jan. 15 saying the system’s lawyer should be notified, but added he could not substantiate that the incident occurred.
Hughes called the police on Jan. 20, after he after learned another teacher saw the girl upset after her encounter with Mahone.
The principal’s attorney said his client did what he was supposed to do.
But police and the county solicitor say the principal should have contacted the police immediately and let detectives investigate the situation.
Georgia law says school officials must call police within 24 hours when there is “reasonable cause to believe” a child has been abused.
Principals across the state and country have dealt with similar situations. What should principals and teachers do when they hear about incidents like this? Did the Clayton principal act correctly?