Several current or former officials at City View ISD were jailed Wednesday on charges stemming from complaints of sexual abuse at the school district.
Those jailed were superintendent Tony Bushong, former high school principal Daryl Frazier, coach and athletic director Rudy Hawkins, assistant superintendent Carrie Allen and former counselor Cindy Leaverton.
The charges are professional failure to report child abuse, a Class A misdemeanor which can result in up to a year in county jail and/or a fine up to $4,000. Bail was set at $20,000 each.
The charges follow investigations that began in the summer of 2022.
Arrest affidavits filed in the case claim "persistent failures to report sexual misconduct by administrators at City View ISD of multiple incidents over an 8-year span."
On June 27, Burkburnett police found 35-year-old City View basketball coach Bobby Morris dead in his home, victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Afterwards, some young women who are former CVISD students took to social media to say that Morris had sexually abused female students and the school district had done nothing about it.
The affidavits say no reports of any sexual misconduct by Morris were ever made to law enforcement by City View administrators.
"From this investigation it appears the City View ISD administrators' persistent failure to make such legally required reports of information they possessed about the possible sexual misconduct enabled the teacher/coach to remain employed by City View ISD and have continued access to students from 2014 to 2022," the affidavit claims.
The investigation revealed four separate incidents of alleged sexual misconduct between Morris with four female students over a period of eight years. The affidavits say all the incidents were brought to the attention of school officials.
Investigators found documents showing Morris, employed by the district for about 10 years, had been placed on administrative leave in 2015 and 2022, but the incidents were not reported to law enforcement.
In interviews with investigators, Bushong said he had conducted interviews but as a new superintendent did not know he was supposed to keep a paper trail. Hawkins said the accusations raised concerns for him but he believed nothing had happened.
Leaverton told investigators she was present at a meeting about the allegations in 2014, but it was determined nothing had happened between student and coach, "so we just dropped it."
Allen admitted being present at meetings where the accusations were discussed.
Investigators were not able to interview Frazier because he obtained an attorney.
Former student Makayla Martin said she told school officials about what happened to her.
"I was told if they heard anything else about the situation that I would be expelled," she said. "I sadly made the mistake of trusting my school."
Samantha Brothers, who said she was abused, said, "I personally went to Tony Bushong and Daryl Frazier and they told me not to speak about the incident and they would get it taken care of - and there have been so many more victims. I want it to stop now."
Angel Rodriguez said while she was a City View student, the superintendent and high school principal questioned her about allegations that surfaced. She said she told them about friends she knew who were involved with Morris.
At a school board meeting in late June 2022, she confronted Bushong.
"You sat in on that meeting. You said it had never been brought to your attention, but it was. I told you everything," she said.
Bushong said in a June 30 post on the district's Facebook page that since his tenure as superintendent began in February 2018, CVISD "has not ignored, covered up, or hidden anything."
Sam Pak, a former City View parent who interviewed the young women about the allegations on a Facebook stream, said "those girls were justified. They've been harassed, called names, but when everything was said and done they were right."
The allegations are being investigated by the Texas Rangers, Wichita Falls Police, City View ISD and the Wichita County District Attorney's Office.
Former CVISD School Board Trustee Mike Parker said Wednesday he thinks it is great that the authorities have made the arrests they have so far. People are innocent until proven guilty, Parker added.
But Parker said the five former and current staff members were not the only ones involved.
"There's a lot more people that know what went on, and they're not in jail," he said Wednesday.
The Times Record News reached out to Wichita Falls police Sgt. Charlie Eipper Wednesday morning to confirm that additional warrants are pending against staff members who have not turned themselves in. Eipper, police spokesman, did not immediately respond.
Parker said he doesn't know the status of the investigation and doesn't want to comment further about possible allegations against any other individuals since the investigation is ongoing.
"My personal feeling is that anybody that was involved in this or anything like this, they need to pay for what they did because little girls were victims in this situation," Parker said.
"They were put in a position where somebody in authority made them do something that they normally wouldn't have done, and then when they cried out about it, it was swept under the rug," he said.
Parker said he is certain the allegations have a strong basis in fact.
When the first allegation of a coverup was made against Bushong, he told the School Board that he had contacted his personal attorney, Parker said.
"His personal attorney told him . . . that there was no wrongdoing, that he would not be charged with anything, to just go on about his normal business," Parker said.
"Well, apparently that's not the case," he said.
Parker said the accusations surrounding Morris were part of why he resigned as a School Board member, effective Aug. 22, 2022, after serving a three-year term. He also no longer had a child at CVISD and was in a new relationship.
"Everything going on with the board was keeping me busy, and I wasn't able to focus on that," Parker said. "So, I ended up stepping down."
But School Board members were told "not to make comments or not to stir the pot or, you know, just let it blow over, and I wasn't comfortable with that," Parker said.
He said the current School Board will likely hold an emergency meeting and appoint an interim superintendent. Parker doesn't think the Texas Education Agency will allow those arrested to work in CVISD with charges pending.
"And none of them should be there," Parker said.
The Times Record News requested comment from CVISD School Board members Wednesday morning via email about whether the charged staff members would be placed on leave, whether the district has reported the allegations to the Texas Education Agency, who will be in charge of CVISD and the district's athletics going forward, an open records request that TRN never received a complete response to and other issues.
CVISD Trustee Susan Robertson declined to comment. No other School Board members, including President Gypsy Karr, immediately responded.
As of Wednesday afternoon, all five individuals were out of the Wichita County jail.
This article originally appeared on Wichita Falls Times Record News: City View ISD officials jailed