Hamilton County Schools Administrator Concerned With Long-term Effects For Perpetrator Of Alleged Sexual Assault

Image Credit: Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

A Hamilton County Schools administrator who is accused of not taking proper precautions to protect a female student from a sexual assault allegedly took part in an email conversation where she worried about the effects of the situation on the alleged perpetrator.

The emails, gathered by the Times Free Press, show a conversation between Carmen Veller, assistant principal at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences, and Hamilton County Police Detective Jason Maucere. In the emails, Veller states that she is “especially concerned” about how the allegations would affect the accused student long-term. 

Veller is one of the individuals named in a federal lawsuit that claims that Hamilton County Schools did not provide protection for the 13-year-old female victim, referred to as Jane Doe, after she was repeatedly harassed and eventually sexually assaulted by a 13-year-old male student, referred to as Jim Doe.

According to the allegations, the boy forced the girl to perform oral sex on him in the school’s boiler room. The incident allegedly took place on December 9, 2021, during an after-school choir concert. The lawsuit states that school administrators failed to notify the girl’s parents and did not take immediate action in reporting the incident.

When the girl reported the incident to a teacher on January 12, 2022, Veller was the first administrator to receive the information. Only after an investigation found video that showed the two entering the boiler room did Veller contact the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to file a report on January 14. 

The lawsuit also claims that Veller and former Principal James Boles called Jane Doe to the office several days later and “both suggested that as a woman Jane Doe should consider the impact her complaint was having on Jim Doe.”

Veller says she initially thought the female student was lying and did not think there could be any truth to the claim until she saw the video of the students walking into the boiler room together. Boles and Veller could not give an answer as to why they did not contact the girl’s parents immediately.

On February 16, Veller emailed the detective, stating that she had received several calls from the boy’s mother, asking why he had not yet been interviewed.

The lawsuit also claims that the boy continued to taunt the girl in the hallway and that other students would call her names and make lewd gestures towards her. Veller, however, claims in her email that the boy had “avoided interacting with her and has been very careful to keep details to himself.”

The boy reportedly has a history of behavior issues, including previous incidents of inappropriately touching female students. He was charged with child rape and kidnapping on March 22 and taken into custody. Administrators then suspended him for seven days and then assigned him to attend the Washington Alternative Learning Center.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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