TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A vice principal and a counselor at a Tucson-area school have been arrested for failing to report inappropriate sexual contact between two students, police said.
The Tucson Police Department said Bernadette Rosthenhausler, 45, and Linda Archuleta, 60, were arrested on felony charges of failure to report.
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The TPD said the incident happened between middle school students at Naylor K-8 School.
"Officers learned the incident took place in a classroom when the teacher stepped outside for a moment," the TPD said in a news release. "As the teacher was outside, a male student made sexual contact with a female student."
The student reported the incident to the teacher and the teacher immediately reported the incident to the vice principal, according to the TPD.
Rosthenhausler, the vice principal, began an internal investigation but the incident was never reported to police or the Department of Child Safety, as required by state law.
"(The) district continues its own investigation into recent allegations involving mandatory reporting of an incident between students while also fully cooperating with the Tucson Police investigation," the Tucson Unified School District said in a news release. "Student safety is of the utmost importance and Tucson Unified School District is taking this matter seriously. Given the privacy rights of the students and staff involved we cannot comment further at this time."
The TPD also emphasized how important student safety is to them.
"The department treats all harmful events against children with the highest priority," the TPD said. "The safety and well-being of the most vulnerable individuals within our community will always be at the forefront of our investigations. For these investigations to be successful, it is crucial that law enforcement is called immediately to preserve any evidence that may be perishable.
"The duty to report is imperative for any person who reasonably believes that a minor is or has been the victim of physical injury, abuse, child abuse, a reportable offense or neglect that appears to have been inflicted on the minor by other than accidental means or that is not explained by the available medical history as being accidental in nature. A person with such information shall immediately report or cause reports to be made of this information to a peace officer or to the Department of Child Safety."