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March 4, 2003

Allegations of abuse reported at School for Deaf

From: Aberdeen American News, SD - 04 Mar 2003

Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The South Dakota School for the Deaf is investigating allegations of sexual abuse involving students at the Sioux Falls school.

Rapid City lawyer Kenneth Dewell is representing parents who suspect their children were subjected to physical and sexual abuse by another student at the school. He would not say how many students were involved.

Tad Perry, director of the state Board of Regents, said an investigation is under way.

"I'm not going to get into details," Perry said. "It's being handled by the school and appropriate authorities."

The School for the Deaf is operated by the state and is governed by the Board of Regents.

The school's superintendent, Jon Green, declined comment.

"We are restricted by state and federal codes from talking about this," Green said.

The School for the Deaf offers a residential program in Sioux Falls and outreach programs to families throughout the state.

About 50 students are enrolled in on-campus programs.

Dewell said parents were told about the investigation several weeks ago and sought his help because they wanted someone independent to talk to school officials.

© 2003 Aberdeen American News