Haines sex abuse allegations lead to policy change

    Haines, Alaska (KINY) Sexual abuse allegations against a now deceased former school Superintendent, could lead to a change in policy on naming facilities after people.

    The Haines borough is drafting a policy on naming facilities and buildings after people.  Recent disturbing allegations were made against a former school teacher, principal and superintendent Karl Ward.

    Borough manager Debra Schnabel said the allegations have rocked the community, "The school gymnasium was named after a person, who passed away 10-15 years ago, and recently some allegations of sexual abuse being perpetrated by this person have come out into the community."

    Four men came forward with allegations they were touched inappropriately by Ward when they visited his home.  A fifth alleged victim

    apparently committed suicide last month

    Borough manager Debra Schnabel said they take the issue seriously, "There are enough people that will attest to it.  Maybe naming buildings after people needs to have a process for vetting.  We are going to put before the Assembly a policy that provides a way for naming things after people, but only after a process of public review, and perhaps waiting until that person has passed away, so we have a better perspective."

    The policy is scheduled to be discussed on April 24th.

    Audio from Borough Manager Debra Schnabel


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