Aurora R-8 School District Superintendent Dr. Travis Shaw was charged last Friday with failing to report child abuse, according to Lawrence County prosecuting attorney Don Trotter.
Shaw, who is scheduled to take over the position of executive director of operations for the Springfield School District on the first of July, is believed to have committed the Class A misdemeanor when he "knowingly failed to immediately make or cause a report to be made to the Children's Division" after having cause to suspect that a teacher had subjected one or more high school students to abuse.
According to a statement of probable cause signed by a detective corporal with the Aurora police department, Shaw was first advised of the alleged abuse on December 16 of last year. However, the incident went unreported to the Missouri Division of Family Services until January 17.
The probable cause statement's account of an interview with Shaw states that the superintendent had received multiple reports from "unidentified people who stated that [a fifth grade teacher] had sent text messages and photos of herself to several students" over a three-month period. Shaw said that because no one had labeled the photos or messages as "inappropriate," he did not feel it was necessary to report the incident.
The statement goes on to say that Shaw received information on January 4 that the teacher in question had "possibly sent provocative photos of herself to [two] students."
When Shaw was given the opportunity to look at the contents of the teacher's cell phone, all social media applications and messages had been erased, according to the police statement.
The final note on the interview included in the statement says "Dr. Shaw stated he also received an anonymous letter form someone who claimed to have knowledge of the fact that a student had recently had sex with [the teacher]."
Thus far,no charges have been filed against the teacher in question. Shaw is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on July 27.