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Colorado lawmaker calls for more accountability after Prairie Middle School incident

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 20:54:45-05

DENVER — Colorado lawmakers are trying to close a loophole that allows school districts to keep parents in the dark.

Earlier this month, Denver7 Investigates broke the story about three Prairie Middle School administrators facing criminal charges.

The school's principal, assistant principal and a counselor are accused of failing to report a middle school student's claim that she was sexually assaulted by a teacher.

Details of our reports during the past several months culminating with that grand jury indictment out of the Cherry Creek school has one legislature demanding more accountability.

Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, calls what happened at Prairie Middle School "negligent" and has proposed a new law, calling for stricter penalties if school administrators fail to report child abuse.

“It's very disturbing that these kinds of things are happening, but what's most troublesome is parents are left in the dark," said Sen. Fields, whose legislation will see a critical hearing next Monday.

The claims arose after Aurora Police arrested Prairie Middle School social studies teacher Brian Vasquez in August 2017 and accused him of physical abuse and exchanging nude photos with several students over the course of several years. 

The indictment centers on allegations made by a specific student in 2013. The student said Prairie Middle School Assistant Principal AJ MacIntosh and Principal David Gonzales told her the accusations would be devastating to Vasquez's career. 

The indictment says administrators never called police and suspended the student for a week. 

One of the Prairie View administrators appeared in Arapahoe County Court for the first time earlier Tuesday.