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School district takes 'disciplinary action' after waiting a month before reporting staff sex assault allegation to police

The district said they could not share details of the punishment because it is a personnel matter.

FRISCO, Colo. — In his first regularly scheduled school board meeting in the role, Summit School District Superintendent Tony Byrd sought to reassure parents their children will be safe in the district after prosecutors accused a Summit Middle School PE teacher of inappropriately touching girls in class.

Deputies arrested Leonard Grams, 61, earlier this month on eight felony counts, including sex assault on a child. An affidavit said it took district leaders a month -- and seven accusers -- before they reported the allegations to law enforcement.

At Thursday night's meeting, Byrd said "appropriate disciplinary action has been taken," but district spokesperson Andrea Ridder said she could not share details of the punishment because "it is a personnel matter."

The school board accepted Grams' resignation effective Aug. 31, indicating he was not fired.

The affidavit said he was placed on paid administrative leave in late October, around the time the district notified law enforcement.

RELATED: District took a month to report sexual misconduct allegations against teacher to police, affidavit says

A month earlier, on Sept. 23, 2021, a teenager at Summit Middle School told a school staff member that Grams touched her breasts, the affidavit said. 

"I was inappropriately touched on my body by a teacher during class," the student wrote in a statement included in the affidavit. "I didn't know what to do because I have never been in a situation like this before and I was scared."

Initially, school principal Greg Guevara conducted an investigation and determined the girl's claim "just wasn't sufficient," although the result could have gone "either way," the affidavit said.

When two more girls came forward with allegations of inappropriate touching two weeks later, District Human Resources Director Grant Schmidt looked into the matter, the affidavit said. Schmidt decided "it did not sound like Mr. Grams did anything inappropriate."

In a recorded interview later shared with police, Schmidt told Grams, "We don't call police right away unless it's so dog on [sic] obvious," the affidavit said.

Documents from Thursday's school board meeting indicated the district was replacing Schmidt with a new hire from outside the district.

Summit School District policy says staff who have knowledge or reasonable suspicion that a student is the victim of abuse or neglect, including unlawful sexual behavior, "must immediately upon receiving such information report such fact" to the county sheriff's office or child protective services.

In addition, state law requires educators to immediately report abuse or suspected abuse.

"We’ve mandated that 100% of our staff – no exceptions – complete mandatory training," Byrd said Thursday. "I’ve completed it myself as well. We’re tracking that completion rate. We guarantee that it will get done."

Ridder said the district also previously required staff to take mandatory reporting training each year.

The district reached out to law enforcement on Oct. 27 after four additional students came forward with allegations of misconduct against Grams, the affidavit said. 

In all, seven students reported issues with Grams' behavior, ranging from touching of their butts and breasts to comments and "stares" that made them feel uncomfortable. Police sought charges based on three students' reports of misconduct.  

Fifth District Attorney Heidi McCollum said her office "is well aware" of the delay between the initial victim coming forward to school staff and when staff notified law enforcement. 

"At this time in the investigation, it is not appropriate for me to comment further," she said.

Grams could not be reached for comment. In the affidavit, he denied any wrongdoing and said he felt "this was a coordinated attack against him." The affidavit said no similar claims of inappropriate behavior had been made against him in his nearly three decades with the district. 

If you have any information related to this story or would like to send a news tip, you can contact cole.sullivan@9news.com.

RELATED: Where victims of sexual abuse in Colorado can get help



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