- Will Broyles
- Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree
Caddo Superintendent Lamar Goree continues to stonewall requests for information concerning his system’s actions regarding notifying parents about the man arrested for allegedly molesting a mentally disabled 15 year old female at Booker T. Washington. As we reported previously, (here) initial reports by the media never included the ultimately important information that the accused child predator was a teaching employee within Caddo Parish Schools for several years. Serious questions remain as to where the teacher was arrested (at the school or elsewhere) and whether or not Goree and the school’s top staff demanded that teachers keep quiet about the arrest last Friday as to not give the Caddo school system further bad press.
In our second report, (here) the public was first able to hear from the family of the alleged victim as they declared that the sexual molestation of more than one student at the hands of Cleodis Bell likely took place at as many as three different school campuses within the Caddo School System.
Friday marks one week since the arrest of Bell and the fifth day that children have returned to campuses, all while Goree’s administration has failed to contact the family of the victim, much less the thousands of parents who trust his system with the safety of their children every day in Caddo Parish. Goree certainly has the means to communicate to parents quickly and effectively should he choose… as evidenced by his numerous op-ed pieces in the Shreveport Times (like this), or his use of the “J-Call” system to remind Caddo school parents to vote on days where upcoming school tax millage elections were taking place. In fact, Goree has been spotted numerous times this week in local news reports about children returning to school as well touting the “free meal” program federal grant that Caddo Parish is now included in for this school year. As of Thursday evening, he was spotted in front of news cameras for KSLA making the public aware that Caddo was braced to take in South Louisiana flooding victims should they need to be schooled here.
Alarmingly, this is at least the third molestation reported that has resulted in arrest at the hands of people inside Caddo campuses in Goree’s over two years as Superintendent (here, here and here). In the first incident in September 2014, Goree at least did the very minimum of actually making a comment to the press about the matter. He was quoted, “We take very seriously allegations of misconduct with any individuals on our campuses. We will begin immediately reviewing all policies pertaining to volunteers.”
Just under two years later, Goree will not answer many of the most basic questions about this newest incident, the second in which the victim was mentally disabled. An email to Goree requesting to know whether or not Cleodis Bell was terminated or remaining on paid administrative leave was ignored. Also ignored was a question relating to whether or not he would comment or contact parents of Caddo Parish Schools, particularly those who may have had contact with Bell in his teaching career here… even though police have asked for other potential victims to come forward.
The public that is finally being made aware through our reports and social media have many questions that deserve to be answered. Goree may get away with covering up reckless spending (here) and felony theft (here) in his district among his school board bosses, but stonewalling the public about the alleged molestation of a mentally disabled 15 year old girl is surely not something that will just go away… nor should it be. He should let the public know… at least a week ago.
Stay tuned for more details as they emerge…